How to See The World When You Have a 9-to-5 and a Budget

“How do you get to go on so many trips?!”

I hear this question often. My answer is always simple: Make it a priority.

A few years ago, I was drowning in your typical run-of-the-mill college debt. Too much Easy Mac, a few must-have sweaters and lots of dining out put my credit card balance in a scary place. After turning down a few invites to travel from friends post-college due to my increasing debt, I was getting really frustrated.

I planned out a payment plan and started throwing money at my problems (and started contributing to the thread here at The Billfold, which I totally recommend). But I still felt deflated since I still wasn’t going anywhere. I started putting $50/month from the payment plan money into a travel fund as a reward. After two years, I made a significant dent on my debt AND I had nearly $1200 in my travel fund. That winter, I called up my best friend and we planned a two-week backpacking trip through Costa Rica. This was in December 2010. That next year I was debt free!

Traveling doesn’t require you to drop a giant sum of money all at once. That’s the biggest misconception about traveling, in my opinion. You don’t have to go to a far away place every time. I love to explore the United States and get to know different states.

WWYD: Watching Someone You Know Steal

What would you do if you saw someone you know steal?

How to Go Freelance, and Still Afford to Travel

A year and a bit after I jumped into the freelance pool, I found myself on an airplane headed for San Francisco, where I stayed for 29 amazing days without putting any of it on credit. This is how I did it.