One thing we did not cut back on, however, was our contributions to retirement. As an accountant and avid planner, I cringe when I hear peers state that they aren’t contributing to a 401k, Roth IRA, or setting anything aside for retirement. If you are lucky enough to have a retirement savings account, try your best not to cut contributions while saving, as the year off will already negatively impact your savings. And let’s be honest: we all want to retire sooner than later so we can have even more outdoor adventures!
As the months went on, and we got closer to our goal, we got creative and started selling off many of our items. Bikes, furniture, and even Grace’s car. Get thrifty in your downsizing if you can!
With a goal in mind, we found it quite easy to cut back on discretionary spending. We’ll be starting our year off with the Hayduke Trail this spring, followed by a hike across Scotland from Mallaig to Dunottar Castle, with two friends as part of The Great Outdoors Challenge. We’ve got plans to peak bag in the Lofoton Islands, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. We’ll be there for several weeks when the sun will not set (I’ll be on the tops of mountains at 3am where the sun is high noon)! We’ll spend a few months Trekking in Nepal, and head to South America for the winter (It’ll be their summer). It’s our dream trip, and we’ve both taken great pride in the fact that we worked hard to make it happen. I encourage you to start planning, whether your dream is big or small! Get the wheels in motion. You might struggle with pinching all those pennies, but you won’t remember choosing ramen at home instead of eating out when you’re breathing in the fresh air, and soaking in the midnight sun!