One Year of Saving Like Maniacs

by Kim on January 5, 2011 · 24 comments

One Year of Saving Money

Warning!  The alternative title of this post is More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Our Money.  If you are currently driving, performing surgery, or otherwise in a situation where you must stay awake for the next five minutes, I suggest reading some other time. 

As of January 1, 2011 Brian and I have saved 55.94% of the money we need to reach our savings goal of $60,000.  We’re getting closer, but some days it feels as though reaching that $60,000 mark is a million miles away.  One of the biggest thrills I have these days is transferring money into our savings account on payday.  When I do that, it feels as if I’m making a concentrated effort towards our goal, instead of just obsessively reading travel blogs and purchasing the occasional pair of quick drying underwear.

Another cheap thrill of mine is creating different savings scenarios in my head and then calculating how much additional savings those scenarios could add up to over time.  I was a straight C student in math, but apparently I did inherit something from my accountant father.  Because of my crazed calculating, I know that Brian and I need to save $2,203 each month in 2011 to reach our goal by the end of the year. 

As I’ve said before, our goal is to travel with $50,000 and save $10,000 for re-entry back into the-land-of-people-that-wear-khakis-and-pay-bills.  While I’m hoping that we will never have to return to that land, right now we have to plan as though we will. I was feeling good about our $60K goal until it dawned on me that there are going to be a few costs associated with maintaining life back home while we’re on the road, such as:

  • Brian’s student loan at $105 per month ($1,260 per year)
  • Kim’s student loan at $85 per month (but will be prepaid for most, if not all, of the year we travel.  $510 for six months, worst case scenario)
  • Vet and food costs for our doggers ($1000)
  • Travel insurance ($1000, estimated)
  • Federal and state taxes for 2011 (based on 2009 taxes, we should expect to pay about $600)

So, taking these additional expenses into account our new savings goal is $64,370 or $2567.25 per month for the next twelve months.  Yikes. 

In the past two months (November and December of 2010) we managed to save $2,197 in November and $3,132 in December, an average of $2,664 per month.  This means we are on track to reach our $2,567 per month goal.  Of course, I was paid three times in December (a phenomenon that happens only twice a year like Mathew McConaughey wearing a shirt or the Bengals winning a football game) which artificially increased our December savings.  Another thing to note, and I don’t even want to go there right now, is the reality that we have to sell our house.  And we might not be able to sell our house. Please, please powers-that-be let us sell our house. 

So, all of that number crunching is meant to demonstrate one thing.  Our end-of-the-year savings status is (drum roll):

Cautiously Optimistic

RTW travelers, I have two questions for you:

  1. How much money did you save to come home to after your trip?
  2. How much should I plan to pay for travel insurance per person?

If you’ve got any insight, please share in the comments.  Thanks!