I recently announced that I would start featuring some of the budget profiles submitted to my site, including those of fellow bloggers. For those of you who may be new to this site, I encourage others to bare their budgets so we can all benefit by seeing how everyone else is (or isn’t) making it.
It has been an eye opening and uplifting experience to feature other bloggers through interviewing them and posting their budgets. There is so much we have to learn from each other and so much we might never know if we didn’t ask.
This week I am excited to be featuring Emma from Money Can Buy Me Happiness!
Emma Healey is trying to find a balance between a life of travel and the pursuit of wealth. She writes about her goal of achieving financial freedom so she can chase the summer around the world on her blog.
After our recent trip to Central America and getting a taste of what it’s was like to have the travel bug, I can really relate with why Emma is pursuing the type of lifestyle she describes below. And the fact that she’s got kids in tow makes it even that much more inspiring to me.
Follow the link below to check out her budget profile (it will open in a new window). It consists of her monthly income, expenses, & total net worth. In other words, all of the dirty details that we love to read about.
The Money Can Buy Me Happiness Interview
1. What is your current financial goal. How and when do you plan to reach it?
My current goal is to build an income that can sustain us while we travel, so that’s my core focus for 2016. I’m reaching out to potential clients and getting my business website up and running. I’d love to be able to fully finance our lifestyle from my business income by the end of 2017. Then my husband could quit his job and we could implement our dream of chasing the sun around the world.
2. Can you describe how your lifestyle differs from that of your friends and family? What do they think about it?
Well, both of our families love to travel – just not to the extent we do. However, if we didn’t travel we’d never see them – they live on opposite ends of the earth in New Zealand and Ireland. My closest friends all love to travel and tend to be the type that would pick up a backpack and go off into the wild.
I think that our families accept that we have to be frugal and live differently in order to have the life we want. I know my mother would love to buy my sons more toys, but as we’ve downsized our house to approximately 860 sq/ft, we try to keep the toys to a minimum. Gifts tend to be cash, which works for us.
3. This is not a financial question, but I have to ask–how did you and your husband meet? And how did you decided where to settle…or not settle?
We met in Sydney, Australia. I moved there when I was 21 to have a new adventure, and my roommate was friends with Dave. He came over on vacation from Ireland, and the rest is history!
As for where we decided to settle, I don’t think we ever actually spoke about that but I always believed (and still believe) that New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to raise children, so I wanted my babies to grow up here.
We only came back after the earthquakes of 2011 almost completely ruined the house we had purchased to raise our family in. Sorting through the insurance claim process was laborious and has still not been finalized, but being in NZ has made communication much simpler.
4. I think your budget is particularly interesting because it shows the financial details of a nontraditional lifestyle of travel. How much does your budget fluctuate from month to month?
I actually thought about that as I filled in your budget profile form. Right now, my husband has a full time job and I have a new client, plus we have rental income, so things are great.
But there was a point in mid 2015 just before we left Spain where I had no work at all and we were living off savings. So, our income fluctuates drastically. That said, our spending stays pretty static. We always try to budget a fixed amount and live as if that is all we have. But if there’s no money coming in–things get tough, really fast.
That is what I’m trying to steer away from now, and why I’m focusing on building a location-independent business. I’m not allowing myself to plan any adventures until I know we have got this money thing sorted! Plus we’ve just had our second baby, so financial stability is even more important.
5. Most people use their kids as an excuse for not travelling as much as they might prefer. This has not been true in your case. How will baby number 2 affect your globetrotting lifestyle? What would you say to others who wish they could travel (or follow some other dream) but don’t because they have young kids?
Don’t believe the hype! It’s not that bad. Seriously, kids shouldn’t hinder you at all. Take them with you, let them share your passion for travel. Yes, there will be tantrums and meltdowns and poop explosions in highly inconvenient places, but that happens at home too. If you love travelling, you will find a way to do it with your kids.
Since our boy was so young–4 months when we left the first time–we took loads of photos and videos, and now he is three he loves looking at his pictures in interesting places. It’s also really helped to give context to his learning.
For example, he was playing with a toy cobra the other day and turned to me and said “Mummy, do you remember we saw this snake in Morocco?” Mind blown–I mean, he’s 3! And he’s been to Morocco. Actually, he’s been to 13 countries. I didn’t get to travel overseas until I was old enough to pay for it myself, so I feel privileged that I can provide him with this opportunity. And I am so glad I didn’t listen to the “babies don’t belong on planes” crowd.
That is inspiring to me. It is so easy just to say “well we could never do that because we have kids,” but Emma is living proof that it is definitely possible. Some other things that really resonate with me from this are:
- Keep your expenses fixed regardless of how your income fluctuates.
- Don’t let kids hinder your desires to travel.
- Don’t worry about what other people think about your frugal living. Remember that your priorities are different.
To read more about Emma, check out her blog.
Your turn to bare your budget
I am currently taking submissions from people who are interested in being featured. If you are interested, post your budget and send me an email.
And don’t forget to sign up for my free tax giveaway!
What insights did you glean from Emma? Do you feel like kids are a legitimate excuse not to pursue your dreams?