See the World ๐ŸŒŽ

Life, Travel

I think everyone should see the world, while they’re relatively young. I wouldn’t say I’m “young”—I know people who are younger than me who have been many more places, but that is not the point. When you want to see the world, it isn’t a race, it’s a journey.

Over the last few days, we have made so much progress on our trip planning to Italy. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น It makes me so happy! We’ve figured out places to stay in Venice, Rome, Florence and Lucca. We only have 3 more days to figure out and then the really, really fun things begin—searching and booking tours! โœ”๏ธ๐Ÿคฉ

It is finally starting to feel real to me, that I will soon be walking around Italy, soaking up the history and sights, tasting gelato and pasta, seeing monuments, watching people go by on Vespas and venturing down wandering, winding streets. ๐Ÿ˜

It’s amazing to be able to look back and say, We made this happen. We never gave up.
In
s on how I’ve been packing for this trip (mostly, I’ve been hoarding tiny toiletries and picking out my favorite clothing from my closet…not an easy task) and maybe some other practical tips. Once we’ve gone and come back, I’ll definitely write some travel guides on the individual cities we went to! ๐ŸŒŽ

I can tell you this though—we have a lot in mind that we want to see! Since Venice is the first city we’re going to, we’ll mostly wander and take in the sights and we definitely want to tour Murano and Burano.

In Lucca, we also want to go and see Cinque Terre and Pisa. We want to see the Duomo, Pitti Palace and The Statue of David in Florence. In Rome, we’ll see the Colosseum, of course, The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and more…and on the Amalfi Coast, we’ll check out the beaches and Pompeii, a place that always fascinated me as a kid when I read about it in school.

I can’t wait to do this. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นโค๏ธ

I’ve been wanting to do something like this as long as I can remember, I just didn’t know how. My mom actually got her passport for the first time for this trip and she is 50.

I am so glad we’re doing this. You have to prioritize what you want out of life. Prioritize isn’t as fun of a word as “Dream”, but it’s so true. Get out there and do what you want TODAY. Make steps towards something and do it. ๐Ÿ’ฏ

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How We Saved For Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น (And How You Can Too!)

being thrifty, Travel

ย  Hey, guys! I have the most exciting news EVER to share with you all!

I’m. Going. To Italy!!! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น ๐ŸŽ‰

Last night, I found the deal of a lifetime on airline tickets and took the plunge. I literally stopped everything I was doing, ran to my grandparents’ house and called everyone together for a conference because I hadn’t seen prices this low since February. Not only is my grandfather Poppy going to go, but my parents are too! This is amazing and something I’ve only dreamed about for so long. When I woke up this morning, I had to remind myself it was all real! I can’t wait! We’ll be going this next year! โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ

*Sidenote: If you want to find great deals on tickets, look today before they go back up. The tickets I found were under $1,000 roundtrip, which is absolutely unheard of. Use Skyscanner also, they are great and cross compare every other site so you know you’re getting the very best deal possible. โœ”๏ธ*

Now, I always strive to be upfront with my readers, so I want to share with you how we saved up for this trip. It sounds like a really hard thing to do, but really it just took some perseverance and delayed gratification. Here are my top tips for how to save up for yourย next trip!

1. Spend less on the things that don’t matter so you can spend more on the things that DO matter.

This sounds like it should be common sense, but it is hard to put into practice, at first. A lot of times, I will find myself wanting to buy new clothes, go to an expensive restaurant or just buy something I really don’t need. A thing I started doing a few years ago was stopping for 5 minutes or so and just thinking about what it was I wanted, really long and hard. If it was clothes, I would carry them around as I shopped and ask myself, Is this something I can really see myself getting a lot of wear out of? What are some outfit combinations I could come up with, using this item? Is it something I can wear during different seasons? Can I wait and find this somewhere cheaper?

Usually, I found that after 5 minutes, the loud voice inside me screaming, “I WANT THIS!” would dull and I would realize that wasn’t really what I wanted most in the world. What I wanted was to travel the world.

So, try this sometimes, when you feel like you really, really want something and you may surprise yourself. If you still want whatever it is, you should get it.

2. Thrift, coupon, do whatever it takes.

I have bought clothes secondhand about 90% of the time over the last few years, or gone to places like Marshall’s, Ross or places that have great deals on clothes. I use coupons when we go out to eat, but only if it’s a good deal and something we would have gotten anyway. (Hint: Those $5 off when you spend $30 coupons are not worth your time. ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™„) Sometimes, Tim and I have split meals also to cut costs.

I also buy hygiene and toiletry stuff only when we need it, but we never run out. I’m one of those people who has to have a back up in case we run out. ๐Ÿ˜‚

3. Speaking of doing whatever it takes…

I bought toilet paper at an estate sale once, which might sound weird, but I bought it in May and didn’t have to get anymore until this month. ๐Ÿ˜‚ 32 rolls for $3, ya’ll. WORTH IT.

If you want to travel and take this huge trip you’ve got planned, sometimes you have to do things other people might look at and call crazy. I also have scaled back on the makeup I’ve worn this year. Since I petsit, I rarely see people anyway, so I started wearing less makeup, which meant buying less makeup, which also made my skin so much healthier. I saved so much money that way! ๐Ÿ’ฐ

I also just recently finally caved and bought some new tennis shoes. I needed them, so I could justify the purchase, but I went for several months with a hole in the sole of them and a chunk missing from the heel. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

This is what I mean by delayed gratification. In our world now, you’re told that you have to have everything you want, right then and there, which is not true. If you use willpower, and occasionally do some things other people think are funny, you can definitely have what you want, in time!

4. Drop the car payment.ย 

It seems like everyone and their mother has a car payment, but hear me out on this one.

Tim and I bought our cars used. I know some people can’t resist a shiny, new car, but that is usually anywhere from $100-$300 extra dollars a month that you could otherwise be saving. I bought my car 2 years ago, used. I had it paid off in exactly 1 year. So, for the last few years, we’ve just done routine maintenance on them, but have no car payment each month, which has helped TREMENDOUSLY.

But don’t just stop with the car payment! Take that cell phone bill and chop it in half. I was paying $120 at Verizon just for myself, so I switched to Sprint and now pay only $80. The more you do this and re-evaluate what you’re spending, even if it’s only by $20, the savings will add up each month! ๐ŸŽ‰

5. Re-evaluate your job.

ย This one is tricky, but something you should do. Maybe you work from home, so your costs are low, but maybe sometimes, you might have a long commute to a job you hate anyway and gas money eats into your paycheck. Sit back and be objective.

I had to do this almost a year ago and haven’t looked back since! I was working part time at a bakery, maybe 6 hours a day. ๐Ÿฐ I didn’t like it at all, but I noticed that my petsitting business was taking off like crazy. I did some figuring and realized, if I dropped the part time job at the bakery and went to petsitting fulltime, I could double or even triple what I was making for hardly any extra effort at all!

Sit back and think about these things before you jump, but sometimes, the answer that makes the most sense is right in front of you.

6. Resell items on Etsy, EBay, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

ย This takes a little more discipline, searching and work, but we have made usually on average, an extra $100 a month doing this. You don’t even have to go out and buy things to resell, first look through what you have. What do you not use anymore? Someone out there, most likely, is willing to pay for it and may even need it!

Old clothes, knick knacks, musical instruments, whatever it is, put it out there. We have really enjoyed the Etsyย platform. I go to a lot of estate sales in my free time between petsits, so I find things I think are cool, buy them for cheap, take pictures, and then list them! It’s that easy! Etsy gets your items viewed around the world. We have sent things as far as Norway and France! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I love thinking about the new homes our things go to!

If online posting isn’t your thing, that’s no excuse—have a yard sale! Do whatever it takes. You also get a nice, clean, more organized house out of it! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

7. Take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace.

ย  This is in no way a plug and I am deadย serious. It will cost you $100 up front, but taking his class helped us SO much. It helps you with budgeting, being accountable and just getting you motivated to get out of debt if you are in it, save money even if you aren’t and just handle your finances better.

We were doing great saving before, but I have to say, after taking his class, it kicked us into high gear.

I hope these tips have helped! ๐Ÿ˜„ I want you to know that this is possible for anyone. It has taken us years to get to this point, but you CAN do it. And I know saving and waiting can suck, but there is nothing like the feeling you have when you realize you’ve done something, with no help, by yourself and for yourself! โค๏ธโœŒ๐Ÿปโœˆ๏ธ

P.S. I might drop another post on tips for finding the best airline ticket prices, since I’ve been doing this kind of research for over a year. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Who would like to see a post on that?

Love you guys!