Well, for we both have full time jobs. Two, we really don't spend any money on ANYTHING else but doing our trips. Seriously, almost all of our 'disposable' income gets put into the savings account and put towards our trips.
People think we bathe in money, but really we are your typical average family living off 'middle management' salaries. It's how we spend, or rather don't spend our money that allows us to do these trips. Think about it, we live in a small one bedroom apartment and we don't:
- buy many DVDs
- buy many video games
- have a home theater system
- go to the movies
- go to concerts
- go to sporting events
- have monthly subscriptions to anything
- have credit card debt
- eat out (in restaurants) much
- go over our cell phone minutes
- have premium cable/satellite TV channels
- don't celebrate holiday's in the traditional fashion (instead of buying b-day, anniversary and xmas gifts for each other, we agree to put that money towards trips)
- buy new computers (all our computers were bought used or refurb)
- don't have a car payment
- get her nails done
- get hair done
- buy jewelry
- buy purses
- what else am I leaving out that "normal" people do?
As much as we would like to do some of those things, we pick and choose things we want to do and trips almost always win out. Our spending budget is very tight and very limited which allows us to do these crazy trips more often.
For example, we haven't seen a movie in the movie theater since Shrek 2 and before that is was the original Spider-Man. We assume the average couple sees one movie per month, which for us would be conservatively around $30 for two tickets, drinks, snacks, gas, parking. Cutting out going to the movies saves us about $400 per year which is about equal to a week's worth of hotel stay on a Florida trip. So we have to figure "would we rather sit in a dark room and watch a movie for a couple hours once a month, or spend a week in Florida?" If you see TWO movies a month, then that's airfare to Japan!
The only thing we spend any kind of money on, which ties into our trips, is video equipment and the website which the DVD sales help cover the costs, but they don't ever cover all of it.
So really, the answer to "where do you get all that money" is simple - we don't spend it on other things. The trips we do are not THAT expensive, especially when you consider that we usually share hotel & car rental costs with other people, look for the cheapest airfare as possible, and we hardly ever buy any souvenirs. (I think I bought ONE T-shirt on the entire Europe trip!)
Our goal with the group trips is to make trips that would normally seem "far fetched" to some people as affordable as possible.
It may take some savings to do one our group trips, yes, but not as much as I think some people would expect and we hope people get as much value out of them as we do!
--Robb "Wishes he had as much money as people seem to think we do!" Alvey
I am definately going to do something like this... I'm not really interested in games and movies at all, I can totally walk or ride the bike to work instead of using the car, I'm not the biggest fan of celebrating all the holydays, I don't like sports and I certainly don't drink, smoke or use drugs Rollercoasters are my life...