One of the most exhilarating aspects of getting older (gasp!) is the chance to start checking off bucket list adventures. You know, that list of things you’ve always wanted to do but have been waiting until the kids have flown the coop and you don’t have anybody to support? Or maybe you’re waiting until retirement? Your bucket list items don’t have to cost a fortune, unless luxury travel is your desire. Finding a way to explore on the cheap is one of my favorite things to do and it’s the only way I’ll be able to do much of what I have on my list. 

I’ve had a bucket list for as long as I can remember and although I’ve been able to cross some items off my list, most have been on the back burner. This is the time I start on the adventures I’ve been dreaming about for many years! For 2020, I plan to hike Hadrian’s Wall across England which will take about a week, coast to coast. The planning is underway and I’m doing everything I can to make it as affordable as possible. Camping and hostels instead of hotels, using miles for airfare, trains for transit and affordable food along the route.

Do you have a bucket list? If so, how are you paying for the things you want to do? Where does it land in your priority list? Is your retirement plan in good order before you start?

I’ve been saving for quite some time for my travels and it’s part of my regular budget. Adventures are so important to me that I’m willing to forego quite a bit. I live in a smaller house, drive an older car, only shop for necessities and keep my budget tight. I do funny things like stash cash at the end of every week and take my coins to the bank. I use Acorns for rounding up transactions and consign or sell anything I don’t need. Any extra or unexpected money that arrives in my bank account goes straight to the travel budget too. I also have a side gig just for travel money.

If you have a bucket list but haven’t figured out how to pay for your adventures just yet, here are some ideas:

  • Get a side gig
    • Find a part time job and use the earnings for your bucket list
    • Remember side jobs aren’t forever, but serve a purpose and this purpose would be to build up your bucket list savings 
  • Change your habits
    • No more shopping for items you don’t need
    • Reduce eating out 
    • Cut back anywhere you can in your budget
      • This is called finding margin, learn more about it here
  • Add Bucket list savings to your budget
    • Divert any savings you find into this budget category
    • Set a goal and have an adventure in mind. It’s much easier to save when you have an end goal in mind
    • If adventures are a priority, adjust your budget as much as you can to squeeze more money to the bucket list savings
  • Sell things
    • Clothes and shoes – Consignment stores like ClothesMentor will buy your clothes for cash or you can list them on sites like PoshMark, ThredUp or Swap
    • Furniture, appliances and housewares – You can list your things on Craigslist, Ebay, Letgo, Nextdoor, Facebook and local ads.
    • Books – Ebay, Amazon and Barnes and Noble are great places to sell books
  • Find extra money
    • If you have extra space like a guest house or spare room, consider renting on Airbnb
    • Depending on where you live, you can even rent out your car! Check out hyrecar.com or turn.com
    • Consider getting a roommate to save on rent!

Starting on your bucket list adventures will be an amazing next step in your life but don’t let your finances get in the way. Save and plan in ways that fit into your budget. Do be sure that you’ve taken care of your needs like emergency savings and retirement before changing around your budget for the bucket list savings plan.

I hope you have some great adventures and would love to hear about your bucket list plans! 

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