Show Me The Money: Liquidate Your Stuff

Show Me The Money!

From selling all the accumulated stuff one needs over a lifetime, to working on farms in Australia these Divergent Travelers are doing everything they can to keep their long term travel dream alive. And how much do they spend a month?

How much money was in your pocket/wallet/bank account when you started on your travel adventure? And how did you decide that was enough to get started? 

$70,000 USD.

We just ran a basic calculation of what we wanted to spend against the number of days we wanted to travel. We are on a backpacker budget, but we like to splurge on adventure activities and the odd upscale accommodation or meal. We took very little with us in cash, maybe $500 USD and the rest we access by using ATM’s or we charge on credit cards that have no foreign transaction fees. 

What methods do you currently use to make money while you travel (in order of most value)?

Blog: $100-$1000 per month (this varies and we don’t rely on the income from it at this stage)

Marketing Videos and Photos for companies: We’ve always documented our travels with photography and have taken it to the next level of producing video content as well. We offer marketing services to travel brands.

Freelance articles

As you've travelled the world and met other travellers, what is the most unusual way you've heard of other people creating an income on the road? 

We haven’t heard of anything unusual, yet. A lot of people are working at hostels, bars and clubs to make money. We’ve met people that work at dive shops to fund their travels and others that stick around in cities and use temp agencies to get short-term office jobs. A lot of people are doing farm work in Australia- we met some girls from Estonia that were picking apples for money and another group of girls from the UK that were milking cows for 6 months to earn cash. 

How much do you spend (on average) each month?

This is subjective to the country that we are traveling in, but I will use the full month we just spent in Indonesia as an example here, all in USD.  We moved around quite a bit as we were on a 30 day visa constraint, so to avoid doing a visa run, we packed in a lot which required us to take some flights to save time.

Flights/transport: $960.89 (includes 4 flights)

Accommodation/utilities: $350.09

Food: $428.44

Tours & Entertainment: $686.00 (includes jungle trekking, 4 day boat cruise, Mt Bromo Hiking)

Miscellaneous: $66.99

Total outgoing expenses: $2,492.40

What have been the ways that you've saved the most amount of money? 

We signed up for a website called HelpX while we were in Australia and ended up doing some work exchange on a horse farm for 3 weeks to offset the high cost of travel in Australia. By doing this we cut our daily budget down from almost $200 to $120 by the time we left.

We aren’t big foodies, and even though we appreciate a good meal, we are happy to cut costs by eating street food and at other cheap venues. This saves us a ton of money by eating local.

We have also been known to stay in large dorm rooms to save money. We did this all through New Zealand and Australia, despite the fact that we are a married, traveling couple. 

What's things have been the biggest waste of money for you? 

These are always so tough to swallow when they happen. The biggest one that stands out in my mind on this trip so far is buying passes for the Hop On Hop Off bus in Sydney. I will still say it is one of my favorite ways to see a city, but the one in Sydney was HORRIBLE. We paid $80 AUD for two 24 hours passes and it was downright awful. Sydney itself just doesn’t have enough sights to warrant a tour bus like the HOHO bus. All the major sights are near each other, with the exception of Bondi, so we found the HOHO bus telling us we should get off in places that were literally made up stops. We spent half a days budget on a crap bus tour. 


What is the best money generation/management tip that you read/heard that impacted your life? 

I would have to say turning all our needless, unnecessary stuff into cash so we can travel. It is amazing how much stuff a person can accumulate over the years that they never, ever use. 

We read numerous online publications and other travel blogs to gain inspiration and ideas to execute this. To save for our trip, we liquidated all the stuff in our lives that we didn’t need and didn’t use. We turned it into a large sum of cash that now enables to travel long term and explore the World. When we figured out that this would be possible just by eliminating the excess we already had in our lives, we were skeptical, but are now living proof that it is a process that works.

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Reader Comments...

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Thank you for featuring us! :)

Lina @ Divergent Travelers Sep 14th, 2014

Erin, I love this series. I haven't forgotten, I still owe you my interview. I hope to get something to you this month or next. I wish I had info like this at my fingertips when we started out a couple of years ago.

Heidi Wagoner Sep 17th, 2014

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