How We Manage Our Finances on the Road

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This guest post is from Wifey of a Roadie, where M shares her tips and tricks as she and her husband travel the world.

Hi Everyone! Wifey of a Roadie here!

I’m reading all these informative and entertaining blogs on debt control and travel and therefore have been inspired to write this post.

Juggling Love and Careers

Some people have asked how in the world my husband and I have managed to stay together and travel so much.  When my husband got offered his first job to tour with Queen Latifah, he was told to ask my permission to accept because marriages don’t last in this business.

I was working as a reporter for a wire service in Los Angeles at the time and had just been offered an awesome job as a television anchor and reporter for a station in Temecula, CA.

We had to make some serious decisions: our marriage vs. our careers, my career vs. his career.

On Plane Over My FujiMy husband’s career would pay him more than enough to support the both of us and would take him all over the world.  My career (as much as I loved it), if I were to move up the ladder, would require that I worked a full-time job with no flexibility.

We knew that frequent and significant times apart would put a strain on our marriage.  Something and someone had to give.  It was very difficult for me to do so but I sighed and tossed in the towel.

I quit my regular reporting job and stuck to freelance television reporting for local cable stations.  At least, I’m keeping my skills sharp without being tied down.  This has allowed me to easily escape and meet my husband anywhere in the world.

Even though my husband makes a comfortable living, we try and save as much money as we can.  Let’s face it, we don’t know when the next gig will come along and sometimes clients don’t always pay on time.  So it’s important that we keep our debt low and our savings big.

Budgeting Our Finances

To help us budget, we have three major bank accounts.  TRAVEL (mostly all my freelance money goes here.  It’s also the money we use to buy my plane tickets when I’m meeting my husband and also the money we use for official vacations together), BUSINESS/SAVINGS (where we keep the bulk of our money), and CHECKING (where we keep a budgeted amount of spending money and money to pay our bills as well as money for a monthly automatic debit to our retirement funds).

We’ve recently bought a house but only because rent in Los Angeles kept going up and our monthly mortgage for our new home in Palmdale added up to about $400 LESS than our monthly rent.  We don’t have to make the hour or so commute every day to Los Angeles (probably on average once a week) so it works for us.

We have frequent flyer accounts with almost every airline out there and we maximize our miles with credit cards that earn travel points (just be sure to pay those cards off every month)!

We only have one car payment (I managed to talk my husband out of buying a Mercedes or BMW SUV for his work/commuter car and into buying a gas-efficient Prius.  I’m not really a car person but I was desperate not to have a $500 monthly car payment and did my research.  He’s happy with the car’s high tech features and I’m happy with the payment and the seats that fold down in the back for lots of storage space).  Our other two cars are paid off and, thank goodness, still working pretty well.

Of course, it helps that my husband’s accommodations, transportation, and meals (he gets a daily per diem in addition to his pay) are paid for when he’s working.  I really only have to pay for my plane ticket.  So when we are traveling together we do tend to live it up a little.

But this only means that when we’re not traveling, we are pretty frugal. We cook a lot at home.  I bring my lunch to work.  We limit our spending on clothes and home items.  Our new house will probably remain fairly unfurnished for a while but, hey, we’re barely in it anyway!  And we find a lot of free things to do, like taking walks and doing this insane Insanity make-you-wanna-puke DVD workout together.  Yes, we use coupons and yes we share meals when we dine out (there’s almost always more than enough for two anyway and it’s a great way to manage your weight).

Reflecting On Our Finances

Do I have any regrets?  Honestly, every once in a while when I can’t sleep and am feeling lonely and hating it because he’s been away for a while, I do think about how life could have been if I had pursued my career and my husband stuck to a daily job with regular hours.

But then I think of all the wonderful adventures we’ve had together all over the world and have yet to have and I think about how far we’ve endured as a married couple (11 years in June!) and I’m thinking, ‘This is once in a lifetime! For the most part, I think we’ve got our priorities straight!’

WHERE WE’VE BEEN TOGETHER:

New York, Atlanta, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Chicago, Florida, Arizona, Virginia, Hawaii, Bahamas, Japan, Australia, Germany, Italy, England, and Greece (Athens and Santorini).

WHERE WE WANT TO GO TOGETHER:

Egypt, Iceland, Dubai, Africa, France, Ireland, Scotland, and everywhere else in the world!

What do you think of their career decision and how they handle finances?

Photo by kenegen

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Published or updated April 29, 2013.

Comments

  1. Life is a journey! There is no right or wrong in following your passion. From what I can tell, you are acting financially responsibly. Go for it!

  2. That’s incredibly exciting. I know what you mean about the FT journalism job without flexibility (or, is that TOO much flexibility in hours, leaving no room for a life around work?)

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