“Jessie, how do you afford to travel so much?”-Everyone I know. This is the question I get all the time. I often look at the people who ask me this and wonder a different question: “How are you not traveling as much as I do”… I’ll break the icehere, I have over $100,000 in student loan debt and still manage to travel at least once a month. So I’m just curious, what’s your excuse?
It’s not rocket science although sometimes I feel like people think traveling this much is like rocket science. & Let me elaborate on “traveling this much”: I don’t even travel full-time. In fact, I have a full-time job! On top of that, I do a part-time freelance gig AND run my blog and social media. As you can tell, It’s kind of a full plate… Oh and on top of that let’s just add a $1,200 loan payment… Oh and then rent… Oh and then the fur baby… Oh and then there’s life.. Oh but wait, your passion! The thing that lights fire under your bum. The thing that gets you up in the morning… This you guys is travel!
“Okay, we get it… You didn’t get help for college, so what? Give us the scoop on how you afford to travel then.” Ok, ok! Obviously, I want to tell you. I also want to tell you that if you can relate to having this much debt then I feel you! I know the roadblocks that come of it but I want to let you know that there’s ways to travel without doing a “budget trip”, not eating for 6 months or losing hope on your passion because you “Can’t afford it”. Believe me- I’ve tried all 3 of these things and they’re not bad, but not good either! Here’s the good stuff: (The ways that I afford to travel every month)
1. Apps here, get your Apps:
I’m not talking about the chips & guac before your meal. I’m talking about the ones on your phone! I’m talking the jumbo shrimp, the large chips and guac, the biggest freaking breakfast burrito you could ever ask for: THESE ARE THE BEST APPS I HAVE ON MY iPHONE & THE ONES I USE CONSTANTLY FOR SAVING MONEY & BUYING FLIGHTS.
- Acorns: This app rounds up all purchases you make on any card you like and deposits it into a little fund for you. You can also set “recurring investments”. I have mine set like this: Each week I have a recurring investment of $25.00. This has me automatically save $100.00 a month. This doesn’t sound like a lot but let me finish… The “round up” feature automatically rounds up anything you spend. Let’s say you spent 29.99 on an over-priced item at Nordstrom Rack (Just say no if you want to save money, don’t even look at it.), Acorns will automatically deposit .01 into your Acorns account for you. Again, doesn’t sound like a lot but here’s where it gets better. Say you spend an obnoxious amount at Ulta “Just because you think you deserve it”. Or finally get a new pair of shoes… Or splurge on that dumb new Starbucks drink…You can set up Acorns to double, triple, quadruple your roundups to automatically save over a buck each purchase. Take a look: It doesn’t seem like a lot, and let me know if that got confusing with all the lingo but BASICALLY I started Acorns in January 2018 and here is my balance: It’s not like I’m a billionaire or anything but it’s still cool. I never saw a difference in my bank account because of it and wasn’t ever broke because I “saved too much”. I will keep adding to this in hopes of buying a round-trip flight to Honolulu in First Class this August. (It’s only $1,300 US!) Or maybe pay off some additional debt, or say “F it” and get one of those iMac’s I’ve been talking about! Point is, it’s a valuable app if you have trouble saving for your airfare, hotels or rental cars! Check them out here. Imagine the savings you could have for your trip next month!
- Affirm: I am IN LOVE with this app. It’s kind of like the Lyft app you know? Super easy to navigate through. Instead of catching a ride however, Affirm allows you to purchase practically anything with the click of a button. It’s kind of like a credit card or personal loan, and it gives you options of how many months you would like to have payments for and what that monthly payment would look like. You can opt for a short 3, 6 or 12-month repayment plan. You can pay it off whenever you want as well, they make it super easy and flexible!
Most recently, I used Affirm to purchase a round-trip ticket to San Francisco. I could have purchased it in full but I honestly prefer to make smaller monthly payments. Take a peek at what those payments will look like:
I’ve used Affirm for the past few months ever since I ran out of airline miles and it rocks! (It’s a whole other story so read it here if you want to know how!) If you’re looking for a way to travel every month or even once or twice a year I would definitely check Affirm out. They make things so simple! I even bought my pricey camera lens on here because I knew that $1,100 was too much to fork out at once. So they broke it up in 6-month payments! It’s paid off now, and I’m SO HAPPY I invested in my camera gear and honestly, invested in myself… I’m also never mad when I buy a flight because I consider that investing in myself as well.
2. Find a way
On the topic of Investing in yourself I want to explain why I use these apps even though I already have so much debt. I don’t know if you know what it feels like to have over 100K in debt but it basically feels like you’re paying for a mortgage for a home you don’t have…Heavy. & the worst part is it won’t be gone tomorrow or the next week or even in 20 years. I’m sorry but I refuse to put my passion and experiences on a 3o year hold while I pay of my student loan. I refuse to feel “Guilty” because I invested in my education and it got me into debt. I refuse to make excuses for why I can’t/shouldn’t travel and you shouldn’t either! Find a way. I’ve learned that literally if there is a will there is a way.
Who can relate to this? Are you in debt? Are you struggling with living your full-potential because you feel something is holding you back? I want to hear about it! Comment below with any questions or concerns.