The 10 pillars of being a Frugal Backpacker

Since hitting my 500 post milestone and I have been thinking about my thought processes, my goals in life, and how that has molded this blog. As a result I have come up with 10 things that move me towards my goals. These can be applied to anyone's goals no matter how different form mine they may be.

They Are:

  1. Spend your time and money on what you are passionate about. Go as cheap as possible on everything else.
  2. Time is your most valuable asset of all. Manage it well and use every advantage you can.
  3. Get and stay out of debt. Build and emergency fund and eliminate all debts as fast as possible including mortgages.
  4. Pack Light. I lived for 18+ months out of a backpack that weighed 30 lbs by the end of my trip. Taking less with you makes travel so much easier and more enjoyable
  5. Have a cash buffer. An emergency fund is one of the easiest and most powerful things that you can have for peace of mind and insurance. Start with $1,000 as a minimum and build from there
  6. Know who your friends really are. Keep in touch and help each other when you can. No matter where you live in the world everyone needs friends. Life alone is a miserable existence.
  7. Take advantage of rewards programs. I preach a lot about points and miles here. These programs, when used correctly, can save you a lot of money and give great experiences on top of that. Keep and eye out for bonuses and promotions that you can profit from.
  8. Invest in experiences--not material items. You will get a lot more joy and a great memories from skydiving versus buying a Mercedes. Things come and go. Memories are for a lifetime and can never break or be stolen.
  9. Invest all long term savings. Simple savings accounts and CD's won't outpace inflation. You need a diverse portfolio of stocks and bonds to truly get ahead and to be able to stop working someday.
  10. Pursue your hobbies and dreams in your spare time. Make it a priority to do the things you wanted to do as a child and adult. Make a "bucket list" and get to work on it!
These are the ideas and goals I live by. I consider them when making all sorts of decisions including money, housing, where to live, where to work, how much to spend on each area, and so on. Following the above has made me much happier with life overall and is continuing to do so. By focusing on what is important you get to reap the benefits of them and increased happiness.