How to plan for a six-month road trip

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I spent many many hours planning before this trip began. Not only did I have to formulate the overall idea and its (many) components, but I had to sit down and figure out how I could actually make this happen monetarily. Here’s how I did it:  

  1. I outlined all my current monthly expenses that would continue during my trip: phone bill, gas, insurance, and food.
    1. I then sketched those out to see what my monthly expenses would be, and figuring I’m on the road for about 6 months, multiply my monthly cost by 6
  2. Next I figured out how many miles this would be. Then, how many tanks of gas would that be? How much is my average price per tank? What if gas prices were $4.50 the entire time? Would I be ok with that total?
    1. I ended up figuring out the cost of 9,500 miles with gas prices anywhere from $3.80-$4.50, and I was ok with those totals on both ends. So green light ahead.
  3. Then I added in the expenses I’d have along the way: audio books,the cost of going dancing several times a week, private dance lessons, any yoga/bar method classes, storage for my belongings back in CA, any coffee shop expenses
    1. And I gave myself limits on some of these, so I have my budget for those per month
  4. I also had expenses before I even left: the online business course, getting my car completely fixed (timing belt, water pump, new CVs, spark plug check, and get A/C fixed), continued cost of web hosting, blog theme
    1. And from there I could ask the questions of “should I or can I get a new computer?” “Should I get an AC powered cooler for the car?” “How and what do I need to get to organize my car?”  How much would those cost? Can I afford those, now that I have an idea of my budget? Where do I say “no” or “not right now” or “after a month, see if I still need to have that.”

 

Put that all together, and you have an idea of what I went through to structure my budget for this trip. I’m certainly not spending all that I have. I’ll allow my trip to extend to the limits of my budget/time constraint; but it’s also possible that I’ll have opportunities for income along the way as well, which I can take advantage of.

 

Ultimately, the goal is to find a way to sustain a way of life that fits me and my values/priorities (mobility, control over my time, continuing to follow my passions) and the gifts I can give to others.