The words adventurous and expensive don’t have to be synonymous. Whether you define adventure as backpacking the rice paddies in the Yunnan province of China, gazing at the Sydney opera house, or even just simply trying a new food in your hometown, it can all be done without your wallet going in the red. Shifting your perceptive lens or mindset towards a concept called opportunity cost will reorient your priorities and ensure your adventuring success in the long run.
Opportunity cost means, in this context, that if you were to spend your money or time on something it would, of course, prevent you from spending that same money or time somewhere else. Saving money now will ensure that there will be more money for those everyday adventure.
While it is a common expression of tree huggers, it’s also a good adage for the frugal adventurer: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce the number of items you buy, reuse the things you have, and recycle what you have used.
Being a responsible adventurer simply means leaving your credit card at home whenever you are shopping. It declutters your home, and it goes a long way to reduce the amount that you might have spent. Think about the money that you might be able to spend on your adventures before thinking of buying anything, maybe even wait a day or two before making that purchase. You’ll be glad that you stayed in your budget when you experience those memories on the road. In doing so, you will be embracing a minimalist life that will do wonders for focusing your psyche and for your wallet. Dedicating yourself to the things that are most important to you and your family should be your top priority.
A good bit of advice to start with would be to always get adventuring gear that is used. Asking your family, friends, surfing online on websites like craigslist, or spending an evening taking the bus to your local thrift store for the necessary materials will take a load off of your budget and let you walk without the burden of credit card debit. While buying clothes or books do so at a thrift store. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with wearing the clothes that you have.
Take stock of what you have, even if it seems like something that you might otherwise throw away, chances are there is some creative way that you can use it to keep yourself in your budget.
For example, if there is an old coffee cup in your cabinet that has its handle broken, why not turn it into a planter, get some 50 cent seeds from your local hard-ware store and add a splash of green to your home? A little creativity and care goes a long way.
Spending money where it will go a long way instead of buying things that you may want but don’t need can turn into an adventure. Taking the bus or investing in a bicycle instead of making a big purchase like a car will open you up to so many more experiences. Buying food at the grocery store and making dinner yourself is a way that you can prepare and fortify yourself for future adventures.
Putting your time towards learning to make simple things like rice and beans, or a simple tuna casserole at first can start off a new passion and grow your talents. Not to mention that cooking at home will be a good step to take towards reducing the amount of money that you spend on eating out, and if you buy healthy food, trim your waistline. As you can see, there are so many ways that you can save money while still being adventurous.
If you are planning on going somewhere, invest some time in looking for discount airplane tickets, travel in the offseason, and when booking rooms in all the fabulous places that you’ll visit, there’s no harm in asking for discounts because it can potentially save you a lot of money. Bringing a friend to share the costs of travel can almost half your expenses. Utilize your credit card miles and plan your trips intelligently by doing your research first. Contact old friends in far-off places and see if they won’t give you a couch to sleep on.
All in all, while you pack your vintage clothes into your second-hand suitcase and take your tasty homemade lunch on the road, remember that not only are you being economical. By reducing the number of things you buy you are also doing good for the environment. Remember the opportunity costs; pack lightly, take only pictures and leave only footsteps.