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  1. #1
    Registered User FooFooCuddlyPoops's Avatar
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    Default How to save money for a hike...

    I am at the end of my college semester and apparently haven't written enough papers yet.

    There is no one way to save money for a backpacking trip, or any kind of trip really. For me, I go by the following method because I do not have a lot of income. I live simply and can survive off very little in order to get to my little vacation. A little effort goes a long way.

    The first thing I do is figure out how many days I will be gone for the trip. My example would be my week long trip coming in may. I will be out of work for an entire week. That means I will be losing an entire week worth of income for AFTER the trip.

    This is extremely important because you may be able to afford your trip, sure, but can you pay your bills without the time spent at work due to your trip?

    Example: For my job, a week out of work will cost me about $250 bucks of income.

    But wait...What about work costs, and being home costs? Gas, Food, General entertainment.

    I like to always factor in your daily expenses to help offset the cost of an income loss.

    Example
    : (I go extreme)
    - Divide your electric bill by four weeks to get how much a week costs you to live in your house. I shut most of my electronics off when I am gone on long trips for safety reasons. For me, I spend about twenty bucks on electricity per week. Add a few dollars because you can never really just turn all your electronic off, and I get about 10 bucks savings back from that week.
    - Heat, and Air: Take that into consideration as well.
    - Food: Do you normally eat out for lunch or work? How well do you eat at home? I usually eat out once a week at $8 and then spend about $20 in groceries. (I am cheap)
    -Gas: How much does it cost to drive to work? I drive FOR work and work five days a week at $10 bucks a day in gas. Add another 10 added for trips non-work related during the week. It comes out to- $60 in gas per week.

    Total: $-250 + $15 + $28 + $60 = $-147
    For a week long trip, I need to save $147 over top of my camping expenses to offset the week off work.

    The next thing you need to do in the saving process is figured out your travel expenses for the trip.

    Example:
    -Food: How much will it cost you to eat? I am planning to eat out at the beginning and end of my trip at $20 tops. I also will be spending about $20 for snacks, and camp foods.
    -Travel: Gas to get there and back? My guess: $60
    -Sleeping Arrangements: Staying in a hotel somewhere? Camping for me, $5.00.
    -Extras: Just add about $60 on to your savings for anything extra you might not know about. This number may go up depending on the trip. My trip is small, so $60 is perfect for me.

    My trip expenses: $40 + $60 + $5.00 + $60 =$165 in trip expenses.

    Now that you figured out your expenses you have to combine the two and figure out exackly how much you are going to need in order to afford your luxury trip away from home.

    $165 (Trip) + $147 (Work) = $312 (Needed to Save)

  2. #2
    Registered User FooFooCuddlyPoops's Avatar
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    Now for actually saving your money for your trip:

    Question yourself: What can you spend less on per week in order to get to your goal amount of money for the upcoming trip?

    You also need to figure out how much money you have extra after every month. This is a process all on its own.

    We already Figured out my income now take that and times it by four. I earn about a $1000 per month give or take depending on the highs and lows of tips in the waitressing industry.

    My expenses are: Rent at $295. Electric at about $80. Gas: $240 Phone: $65 Heat/Cooking: $20 (summer uses less propane) Animal Care: $50 Food: $112 Everything else is negotioatable.

    Expenses: 295 + 80 + 240 + 65 + 20 + 50 + 112 = $862 which leaves me a extra of $138

    Now, this is just the bare minimum, and high of my expenses combined. I typically end up earning closer to $1500, but $1000 is my low for the purpose of this post.

    Another way to figure out how much money you need to save is too figure out your expenses, and than figure out how many hours it would take for you to earn a weeks worth of those expenses.

    Once you have figured out how much it costs you to live, how much you earn in general (use the lowest income just incase of worst case senario), and how much your trip is going to cost you, you will than be able to start figuring out how to cut costs, increase income, and how long it will take in general to earn enough money to cover your trip.

  3. #3

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    Build a life where you don't have many/any bills. I have a cell phone bill and a car insurance bill. Combined that's less than $100 a month. Leaves a lot left over. I can go where I want and do what I want because most of my expenses are discretionary. I'm going to need food whether I stay at home or am on the trail, so it doesn't really cost me more to be on the trail. Got a job that gives me 8 weeks vacation a year...don't miss income when I plan a trip.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by FooFooCuddlyPoops View Post
    [B]...You also need to figure out how much money you have extra after every month. This is a process all on its own.

    We already Figured out my income now take that and times it by four. I earn about a $1000 per month give or take depending on the highs and lows of tips in the waitressing industry. ...
    52 weeks per year / 12 months per year = 4 1/3 weeks per month, (or 4.3333)

    Multiply your weekly wage by 4 1/3, (4.3333), or, divide your monthly expenses by 4 1/3 , (4.3333), to get a more accurate monthly or weekly amount.

    A lot of people make this mistake and wonder why they run out of money before they run out of month!
    "...once you have cut down all the trees, where will you hide when the devil comes for you?" -Sir Thomas More




  5. #5
    Registered User Storm's Avatar
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    If I had to do that many calculations I would never leave the house. lol
    "The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer"

  6. #6
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    $40 a month adds up too. I agree with Bronk, simplify your life.

  7. #7
    The other white meat
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    Quote Originally Posted by FooFooCuddlyPoops View Post
    I am at the end of my college semester and apparently haven't written enough papers yet.

    Example[/B]: (I go extreme)
    - Divide your electric bill by four weeks to get how much a week costs you to live in your house. I shut most of my electronics off when I am gone on long trips for safety reasons. For me, I spend about twenty bucks on electricity per week. Add a few dollars because you can never really just turn all your electronic off, and I get about 10 bucks savings back from that week.
    - Heat, and Air: Take that into consideration as well.
    Your utilities calculation may not be accurate because most if not all utility companies charge delivery and several other fees before charging you for the actual electric, gas, etc. consumed.

  8. #8
    Garlic
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    There are some good tips for personal finance at mrmoneymustache.com. MMM is also in favor of simplifying one's life, and is oriented toward enjoying the outdoors inexpensively.

  9. #9
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    I like what you did here. I didn't check everything you did in detail, but it looks like you have a nice logical layout. This is what a lot of the folks coming on here asking about how much a hike costs need to do. Budgeting is simple math and can be done pretty easily in Excel if you don't have some financial software.

    This is why I rarely get in on these types of threads. Everyone's situation is unique, and each individual needs to do their own calculations and budgeting. The one general piece of advice I'd give is try to live a simple life within your means, and save as much as you can whilst still having fun.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
    JMT: 2013

  10. #10
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    There are some good tips for personal finance at mrmoneymustache.com. MMM is also in favor of simplifying one's life, and is oriented toward enjoying the outdoors inexpensively.
    One of your posts a while back turned me on to this guy. He has some pretty good stuff on there. I got in on the living simple thing a little late, and had I done it earlier I may have had more options for not having to work at an earlier age. As things stand I still may have the opportunity to become financially independent making work optional in my early 50s if things work out. So I guess the lesson here is it's never to late to start.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
    JMT: 2013

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm View Post
    If I had to do that many calculations I would never leave the house. lol
    Get a dollar store calculator!
    "...once you have cut down all the trees, where will you hide when the devil comes for you?" -Sir Thomas More




  12. #12

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    Being self employed, I can't make a firm budget - or so I tell myself. One week I'll spend $30 per week in gasoline, the next week I could spend $150 per week in gasoline. The truth of the matter is that I just don't "do" money well.

    For my "save money for a hike" to happen, I simply opened a new savings account and have been putting $35/week into it. Online banking is so much more convenient than doing it the old way.
    $35/week seems random, but it's not. I estimated how much money I needed for a thru-hike and to pay my bills while I'm gone. I had a rough estimated start date of 5 years. $35 x 52 weeks = $1820. 1820 x 5 years = $9100

    To "afford" $35 per week is simple for me when I force myself to deal with it... cut back on eating in restaurants, stop buying coffee and a donut at the convenience store in the morning, things like that. Not sure if I'm "normal" in that capacity, but I spent a lot of money on unnecessary things. Things that don't really mean much to me, whereas a thru-hike would mean a LOT to me.

    I realize now that $9000 for a thru-hike AND paying bills while I'm gone is pretty tight. I could either increase my savings per week or push back the estimated start date of the hike.

  13. #13
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtDoraDave View Post
    ...To "afford" $35 per week is simple for me when I force myself to deal with it... cut back on eating in restaurants, stop buying coffee and a donut at the convenience store in the morning, things like that. Not sure if I'm "normal" in that capacity, but I spent a lot of money on unnecessary things. Things that don't really mean much to me, whereas a thru-hike would mean a LOT to me....
    This is probably the biggest step anyone can make in the goal of financial independence.

    An office mate and his wife, on two professional incomes, didn't have enough money to start a family. They figured it out--by simply brown-bagging lunch, they did it. It turns out each of them would go to the mall for lunch every day, and in addition to a $10 lunch, they'd buy something for $10--a CD, etc. Forty bucks a day adds up! Eventually, with a few other similar changes, Mom was able to stay home and raise the kid.

  14. #14
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    When I started to put my life on a different level 3 years ago, I searched and found lots of ways to save money without negative impact to my and my familys life.
    First I got rid of all insurances except the obligatory ones, then I cancelled all subscriptions, got rid of the expensive mobile contract and got a cheap one, and the hardest one, got rid of my car. The latter was the biggest change in life and the biggest saving, now I try hard to do most of my everyday business by foot or bicycle, at the same time getting lots of training for hiking (yes, we still have one car in the family, which we share now, but I've cut down the miles I'm doing to an insignificant low number). These changes, plus some savings, allowed me to take 1 1/2 year off from work and do lots of hiking, and at the end of this periode I still had some money left.
    Realized that life is so much cheaper when you're out of pressure.

  15. #15

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    Save money

    The statement itself reveals that anyone that needs to "save" money, normally wastes it.....

    Live within your means
    Dont spend a dime you dont have to
    99.9% the things you think you want, are irrelevant and wasteful
    Spend $ on things that enrich your life
    Trips
    Experiences

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Save money

    The statement itself reveals that anyone that needs to "save" money, normally wastes it.....

    Live within your means
    Dont spend a dime you dont have to
    99.9% the things you think you want, are irrelevant and wasteful
    Spend $ on things that enrich your life
    Trips
    Experiences

    Check out this site for excellent advice on budgeting and saving money.

    Listen to some of his shows available on the site.


    www.daveramsey.com
    "...once you have cut down all the trees, where will you hide when the devil comes for you?" -Sir Thomas More




  17. #17
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    I have an auto draw out of my account every week into savings. after a while you don't miss it. went to England this year.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  18. #18
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    While my financial advisor frowns on this, I save money by having extra money taken out of my paychecks for Federal taxes. That way, I get a much larger return.... During the year - every two weeks- that extra money would have been paltry and easily spent; however, when I get my return, it is a major chunk of change that gets directed to a special project.

    Quote Originally Posted by FooFooCuddlyPoops View Post
    I am at the end of my college semester and apparently haven't written enough papers yet.

    There is no one way to save money for a backpacking trip, or any kind of trip really. For me, I go by the following method because I do not have a lot of income. I live simply and can survive off very little in order to get to my little vacation. A little effort goes a long way.

    The first thing I do is figure out how many days I will be gone for the trip. My example would be my week long trip coming in may. I will be out of work for an entire week. That means I will be losing an entire week worth of income for AFTER the trip.

    This is extremely important because you may be able to afford your trip, sure, but can you pay your bills without the time spent at work due to your trip?

    Example: For my job, a week out of work will cost me about $250 bucks of income.

    But wait...What about work costs, and being home costs? Gas, Food, General entertainment.

    I like to always factor in your daily expenses to help offset the cost of an income loss.

    Example
    : (I go extreme)
    - Divide your electric bill by four weeks to get how much a week costs you to live in your house. I shut most of my electronics off when I am gone on long trips for safety reasons. For me, I spend about twenty bucks on electricity per week. Add a few dollars because you can never really just turn all your electronic off, and I get about 10 bucks savings back from that week.
    - Heat, and Air: Take that into consideration as well.
    - Food: Do you normally eat out for lunch or work? How well do you eat at home? I usually eat out once a week at $8 and then spend about $20 in groceries. (I am cheap)
    -Gas: How much does it cost to drive to work? I drive FOR work and work five days a week at $10 bucks a day in gas. Add another 10 added for trips non-work related during the week. It comes out to- $60 in gas per week.

    Total: $-250 + $15 + $28 + $60 = $-147
    For a week long trip, I need to save $147 over top of my camping expenses to offset the week off work.

    The next thing you need to do in the saving process is figured out your travel expenses for the trip.

    Example:
    -Food: How much will it cost you to eat? I am planning to eat out at the beginning and end of my trip at $20 tops. I also will be spending about $20 for snacks, and camp foods.
    -Travel: Gas to get there and back? My guess: $60
    -Sleeping Arrangements: Staying in a hotel somewhere? Camping for me, $5.00.
    -Extras: Just add about $60 on to your savings for anything extra you might not know about. This number may go up depending on the trip. My trip is small, so $60 is perfect for me.

    My trip expenses: $40 + $60 + $5.00 + $60 =$165 in trip expenses.

    Now that you figured out your expenses you have to combine the two and figure out exackly how much you are going to need in order to afford your luxury trip away from home.

    $165 (Trip) + $147 (Work) = $312 (Needed to Save)

  19. #19
    Registered User FooFooCuddlyPoops's Avatar
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    Hey guys,
    I know my calc's are off. Haha. But the jist is still there.

    Over the past 2 months, I forced myself to live like a hermit for my upcoming trip. I did not order out unless it was necessary, aka forgot dinner/lunch at home, or was out of town. I made my own coffee at home instead of buying it elsewhere. I carpooled when I could (which strangely enough lead me to haveing a friend)

    In the end, I saved enough money for the trip, to take the week off for the trip (that's like $200 worth of income right there), and paying a few bills that popped up not within the budget.

    However, I am so burnt out it's not funny anywhere. I went vegetarian to save $$ on meat. (Lost 15lbs from that alone) I worked my butt off and did not go out but a few times to keep my sanity. (aka dinner over friends, canoe fishing by parents, and local hikes that don't cost more than a few bucks worth of gas)

    But it was worth the struggle. I am heading out Saturday for my week long section hike!

    P.S: I did all this while also finishing up the last few weeks of college. Passed all my classes with A's. -Fist Pump-

  20. #20
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Living like a hermit so you can live like a homeless person.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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