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Announcing Frugal February | Don't Ever Look Back

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Announcing Frugal February

Announcing Frugal February

With an estimated 6 months until our round-the-world trip kicks off, we’re 45% of the way to our savings target and currently tracking behind where we want to be at this stage. Concerned, we did some calculations and realized that at our current rate of savings we’d only get to 96% of our final savings goal, a few thousand dollars short of what we ultimately wanted. “Oh shit!” we thought to ourselves – the last thing we want to do is postpone this trip yet again!

Considering we’re already putting away nearly 50% of our incomes and making some major sacrifices, how the hell are we going to squeeze out that little bit extra to reach our target? We brainstormed a few ideas and then an absolute gem of an idea hit us!

February 2011 Calendar

We're running a month of personal finance posts to help you achieve your travel dreams faster!

Frugal February!

An entire month dedicated to finding ways to save extra money for travel and implementing those ideas. For the four-week period between Tuesday 1 February and Monday 28 February, we’ll be posting about various personal finance topics and sharing our frugality ideas with our readers. The objective is to inspire you (and ourselves!) to apply the advice given and reach your travel dreams much faster!

Want to get involved?

Apart from implementing the ideas shared during February, we’d love to get other members of the travel community involved in this initiative. We’re looking for submissions, whether it be a short guest post or just sending a few ideas our way. Please contact us if you’re available to help!

But I want advice now!

Check out this brilliant post, 9 Money-Saving Tips For Travelers From Travelers on A Dangerous Business. These fantastic tips will be more than enough to tide you over for the rest of January!

So do yourself a favor and set a reminder to visit Don’t Ever Look Back on Tuesday 1 February for the first of our Frugal February posts!

Flickr Photo: alykat


  1. Posted January 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    One thing that really boosted our travel budget was a pretty nice tax return. But to get one you would need to leave your jobs half way through the financial year. The financial year in OZ (as you know) is from July to June. We left in December and as a result we got $8k tax return. Not bad huh? 🙂
    Magda recently posted..The biggest smiles in the world

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Great tip Magda – timing is very important but for others reading it’s worth keeping in mind that you will have to wait a few months before obtaining your tax refund if you leave halfway through the financial year.

      We’re leaving in July so that our unused leave benefits are paid out in the 2011-12 financial year and we’ll get a nice bonus in mid-2012 when we might need it!

  2. Posted January 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    OOH! I’m so looking forward to Feb 1! and I’m totally with Magda on the tax returns, mine is definitely going to put a huge increase in my savings! I can’t wait!
    Sheryll recently posted..Hoarders- Episode 304 – Sheryll

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Thanks Sheryll – we’re hoping to pump out around 5 posts per week with advice. A lot of it you’ll probably already know, but if we can identify a couple of new ways to help you save then it will be worthwhile. 🙂

  3. Posted January 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    The tips on Dangerous Biz are fabulous! Good idea to concentrate really hard for a month…and it’s a short month so it’ll go by quickly! Stay focused…eye on the prize! As our trip got closer we weighed every purchase against how many days in Thailand it would be…do we really need to go out to dinner…it’s 4 days in Thailand. It really worked. Cheers!
    Gillian@OneGiantStep recently posted..Responsibly Irresponsible

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      They sure are fabulous – it’s great to hear as many opinions as possible which is why we’re aiming to feature plenty of guest posts during February!

      Hopefully the boost in savings over the 4 weeks and beyond will be enough to push us up and above our goal. That’s great advice you’ve given too Gillian!

  4. Posted January 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Hey guys. Great idea! Here are a few tips you may want to check out http://www.ordinarytraveler.com/tipsarticles/10-tips-on-how-to-save-for-travel. Good luck on your saving goals!
    Christy @ Ordinary T recently posted..Photo of the Week- Post Storm Surf Session 3

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      There are some great tips in there Christy – we’ll be expanding on a few of these ideas for Frugal February but there are others we hadn’t even thought of. Will try to include them somewhere and link back to your fantastic post. 🙂

  5. Posted January 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    When I’m in a bind I turn to making large batches of food for a week’s worth of leftovers, Netflix or Hulu, and staying home playing card games/video games. You can even invite friends over to play as well. Maybe if you give them a puppy dog face they will share a beer or two.
    Erica recently posted..Risks in the Game of Life

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      All fantastic suggestions Erica – a lot of people ask us why we don’t go out that much on the weekends but we’d much rather save our money by playing PS3 or on the laptop and watching movies. We’ll more than make up for it by the time we get on the road. 🙂

  6. Posted January 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Yay! I’m so excited!!! My boyfriend and I started talking last night about our plans and realized how hard we are going to have to work to save some money and I got really discouraged, so I’ll be following along with you all month! 🙂
    Annie recently posted..London Fog

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      It definitely takes major sacrifices to save money for travel but don’t get discouraged, we’ll be giving you plenty of simple techniques to help you make those plans happen sooner. 🙂

  7. Posted January 21, 2011 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Great idea, we’ll be joining you in Frugal February. We are at about 70% of our saving goal, still hoping to reach 100% buy the end of June.

    Some advice: Food has been a huge source of savings for us. Both groceries and dinning out. We are commuters, and often times stay in the city late. In the past, we were probably eating out up to 4 times per week each. Now we mostly quit going out for food, except our once a week wings night treat $3 each.

    If we are staying late in the city, and have no choice, we hit up a $3.45 sub at subway instead of a $14 restaurant meal. If we do go to a restaurant together we will cut costs by splitting a meal.

    With grocerie shopping, we started buying cheaper meat like pork over beef. We buy bulk sandwich meats unsliced and cut them ourselves. We started baking our own bread and try to make our food from scratch, ignoring the pre-packaged items. All in all, we are saving money and eating healthier at the same time.

    Between groceries and eating out, we shaved about $300 a month off of our expenses.
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..An Unexpected Expense

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Thanks Mike, that’s a great achievement that you’re 70% of the way there! Are you still on target to make it to your savings goal?

      They are some great suggestions you wrote on how to save money on food. It’s definitely a big drain on the finances if you let it be that way!

  8. Posted January 21, 2011 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    I’m going to be doing exactly the same!!! Suddenly realised this morning that I am way behind my target, so will be selling EVERYTHING I can find and not spending a penny for the whole of February! Looking forward to reading your posts! 🙂
    Lauren recently posted..6 Months Until Departure!

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Good luck Lauren, hopefully some of our advice will help you get back on target!

  9. Posted January 21, 2011 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Love the idea of Frugal February. I’m on the same boat, as I’m saving like crazy for my RTW. I’m looking forward to your articles!
    Norbert recently posted..Wolf’s Lair- Hitler’s Bunker in Poland

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Thanks Norbert! How is the saving going? More importantly, are you a few steps closer to becoming location independent?

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      The saving is going steady… I’m being really strict with it (um, except for last week… oops!)
      On being location independent, working on it… slowly but hopefully coming! 🙂
      Norbert recently posted..Wolf’s Lair- Hitler’s Bunker in Poland

  10. Posted January 21, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Oh I know how this goes I have had months and months of being frugal. Its hard but its going to worth it in the end. I actually wrote a post about the ways I am saving money. It was one of my 1st post.

    Here is the link – http://breakawaybackpacker.com/2010/08/the-game-of-saving/
    Jaime recently posted..Shit I need to get done before I leave…

    • Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing your post Jaime – with just over a month to go before you leave, how did you go with sticking to these goals?

      Did you bring your lunch to work everyday? And did you successfully cut down on CDs, shopping and going out?

  11. Posted January 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I love this idea! There are so many great savings ideas out there! We saved by selling things, cutting coupons, didn’t go out, got rid of cable, etc. We also created dinners twice a week that gathered the random, unused things from the pantry- we dubbed it “free dinner” night. We also lived off of cash. It helped us become more cognizant of where we were spending money and when the cash was gone we stopped spending for the month. Saving for us was all part of the planning experience. I feel like our trip started six months ago while we laughed chowing down on red beans and rice and eggs (one of our first and go-to “free dinners”).
    Melissa recently posted..Oh the Places We’ll Go!

    • Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Melissa – we love the idea of “free dinner” tonight, encourages you to be creative with your cooking too which is always good! Unfortunately we’re living out of our parents house so our own food is limited.

      Even though we’re halfway to our target, it still doesn’t feel real to us yet! Perhaps because we’re so used to saving it’s just normal… hopefully we get that feeling soon enough!

  12. Posted January 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Guys, can you make up the shortfall in your savings target by making a bit of extra money on the side? Something that requires no skill like delivering pamphlets or something in your field like some kind of freelance work?
    Like Norbert, I’m hoping to become location independent. That means I will be juggling a full-time job, a baby and building a business all at the same time. When the business makes enough money we’ll be off! And as it builds up, it will be adding to our savings. That’s my plan, anyway. The money isn’t rolling in just yet, however.
    eat-laugh-love-anon recently posted..The Wedding Shoe Shuffle

    • Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Great suggestion! I’m a freelance web designer so have been making a bit of income that way but not quite enough to support us full-time on the road. Have just started doing a few Facebook welcome pages – it all adds up!

      Will definitely be doing a post in Frugal February dedicated to making extra income on the side. If you have any specific tips, please share them with us. 🙂

  13. Garreth
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Awesome idea. Me and my three buddies i’m going travelling with call it HermitMode. But yeah I’ve cut down big time on nights out. Living back at home for free with the rents for my final year has helped big time as well. Some weeks I manage to just live off the tips I make at work, meaning I can dump almost all of my salary in my savings account. I find going to the gym (which I get for free) and running is a great way to spend time without saving money! Can’t wait to get some more ideas from the posts!

    • Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Haha we like HermitMode – know it well! We’re back with the rents as well and this has pretty much doubled our monthly savings amount! Even though we’re paying for the gym, we think it’s well worth the cost and it makes the days go quicker while we count down to our trip.

      Hopefully we’ll be able to give you some fresh ideas to buy you more time on the road!

  14. Posted January 22, 2011 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Great idea! I’m based in NYC and am a veteran of RTW travel. I just found your site so I’m not too familiar with your RTW itinerary, although I see you’re planning to visit North America. Lodging is expensive in the US but you can save money by buying a National Parks Pass (free entry to any national park for a year) and camping 🙂
    Leslie recently posted..Photo Essay- Sandboarding in San Pedro de Atacama- Chile

    • Posted January 23, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Hi Leslie, so glad you found our blog and thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      We haven’t really got an itinerary sorted yet but this will come in due time. We’re hoping to spend a lot of our time in Airbnb accommodation but thanks for the recommendation, you’re the second one who’s said camping is the cheapest option so we might just have to consider it.

  15. Posted January 22, 2011 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Frugal February is a great idea guys – be careful not to be so frugal that it is followed by a miserable march though! You have to keep sane while you’re saving. Having said that, it’s summer in your current corner of the world isn’t it? bah humbug – I’m jealous!

    • Posted January 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      Great tip Liv – that’s why we keep some money in a separate “fun” fund which we’ll use for 1-2 mini-trips before our big trip!

      It is summer here, but the weather here really hasn’t been that great!

  16. Posted January 23, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I love the idea of Frugal February (much like the Sober October I tried to enforce on myself last yeah, ha). Can’t wait to read the tips!

  17. Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Great idea guys. Really looking forward to Frugal February. Everyone wants to know one way or another how to save money these days. The best part is the saving doesn’t have to be for travel, it can be for any of your goals and dreams.

  18. Posted February 1, 2011 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    You could go vegetarian for the month of February… or at least a week.

    Vegetarian cooking is a great way to save money, it’ll help offset carbon from your international flights, and trying out new vegetarian recipes can be fun, too!
    Tanya recently posted..Thar be Dragons- Cruising Komodo &amp Rinca Islands

  19. Posted February 1, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Definitely will check out the frugal february posts! Whether you are a traveler under budget, or already meet the budget, being frugal is always a good idea. You can prolong the trip 😀
    Dina recently posted..In Search of the Cassowary

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