We’re unabashed Trekkies. Both of us grew up watching the crew of the starship Enterprise, and perhaps in a tiny way, watching Star Trek instilled in us the sense of adventure that causes to “seek out new life and new civilizations.” OK, maybe just different cultures, and old civilizations.
So when the latest movie Star Trek Beyond came out, we were there to see it opening weekend, just as we had the past few installments. That’s when we stumbled upon a valuable lesson about being able to afford to travel. By sheer coincidence, we were both wearing the same clothes we had worn the last time we went to see a Star Trek movie in theaters, 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. (No, not the costumes pictured above. That was for the 2009 reboot, included here for evidence of our nerdiness.)
Iylana noticed it first and pulled up an old Facebook selfie to confirm. Three years had passed between movies, and we had taken numerous trips, visiting almost a dozen different destinations. But what hadn’t changed much was our wardrobe!
And therein lied the lesson: people tend to find a way to afford what they want to afford. It’s not always a conscious decision, but tends to be the little habits we have on a daily basis that determine where our finances go.
With the goal of traveling in our minds, we subconsciously started changing our habits that determined our day to day expenses, and one way that manifested itself was in not always having a closet overflowing with the latest fashion. That doesn’t mean we never buy new clothes. Of course we do! But over time we noticed ourselves becoming more conscious about our purchases, buying only what we needed, because we were replacing something old and worn out, not because it looked cute and was on sale.
And it’s not just clothes—there are so many more examples of seemingly innocuous “everyday expenses” that chew through our paychecks and leave us without enough money to save for travel. But often we don’t even realize where all our money goes, and we resign ourselves to thinking that travel is something we’ll never be able to afford.
The reality is, most of us can afford to travel. You just have to ask yourself “how much do I want to go on that trip?” Is it enough to make the small changes to your spending habits that’ll pay off with a tropical breeze, ocean view, and drink in hand? Do you need that new dress or shirt? Can you skip that latte? The same mentality also applies on a larger scale. Do you really need to move into a bigger house? Can you get a few more years out of this car?
It doesn’t have to be a dramatic lifestyle overhaul—small changes can add up to big savings. Once you’ve determined to make travel a part of your life, you’ll begin to notice the small changes in your spending habits you’ve unconsciously made to reach your goal. Then you can begin to really take charge of your savings and take that trip of a lifetime you’ve been dreaming about.