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  1. #1
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    Default Saving for thru hike

    Hi everyone,

    I know there are artices online about this, but so far they haven't been helpful in that I already do many of the basics... What are some ways people save prior to trips?

    Thanks,

    - Wesley

  2. #2
    Registered User Megapixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WesleyCBruce View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I know there are artices online about this, but so far they haven't been helpful in that I already do many of the basics... What are some ways people save prior to trips?

    Thanks,



    - Wesley
    what I typically do first is cancel internet and data plans from my phone just to text/call only and the. ...

    http://www.postholer.com/ontrail
    2011 H.F.-Duncannon, Katahdin-Rangeley
    2012 Springer-Erwin



  3. #3
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    Go on a ramon, tuna and water diet. Dual purpose it will also get you used eaten this way for the trail.

  4. #4
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    For my hike last year, I did the following starting 9 months prior to leaving:
    - Cancelled cable and online streaming subscriptions
    - Limited myself to one meal out per week, starting buying groceries and cooking at home for most of my meals
    - Reduced the amount of my entertainment spending (stopped going out for drinks, or if I did, happy hours only).
    - Sold unused gear
    - Got a second job, created a second banking account where the funds would be separate from my general account. This account was for trail savings only.

  5. #5

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    You just have to live as frugally as possible. That may or may not require a major shift in life style. If you make a half decent wage, start living like you don't. If you buy everything with a card, switch to using cash. Nothing like using cash to see how fast it disappears.

    The first thing to do is rid yourself of any debt. Take that stone off from around your neck and your liberated. If you have student loan debt, well good luck to you.

    If you can arrange to have no "at home" expenses while gone, that could significantly reduce the amount of money you need to save.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6

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    It takes a major sacrifice, but it's worth it when you are young and relatively free IMO. I took off on the AT when I was 17, for a whole summer, with very little money. It worked.

    Don't wait for a time when time, money, work, & family all fit together... you may get old and die first.

  7. #7
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    Don't wait for a time when time, money, work, & family all fit together... you may get old and die first.
    "a time when time, money, work, & family all fit together" - yeah, for most people that time never happens. There's always going to be reasons not to go, but unless they involve your dependent children/family or truly destroying your education/career, the sooner you go, the better. Life doesn't usually get less complicated with age.

  8. #8
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    Don't forget, there's a ton of ways to save on the trail as well. Limit town stops and hostel/motel stays is probably the biggest one. Gear doesn't have to be the latest, greatest. Use what's good for you and go with the flow. You'll eventually replace a lot of items worn out anyway, mainly shoes. I did mine with a modified $50 Kelty pack I picked up off Ebay, Walmart poles (I can't believe they made the entire way!, and I STILL use Ozark Trail poles to this day!), and a military issue 30 degree bag (you can get at a surplus store for around $30), and $40 Ebay 6X5 tent that I slept comfortably diagonally in (I'm 6'2). Just some money saving tips, hope this helps.
    - Trail name: Thumper

  9. #9
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    where i am now, which might not be where i am tomorrow
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    think of every penny you spend. do you ~~need~~ to spend it? remember...you don't need a cell phone, lightweight gear, etc.

  10. #10
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    If you don't already learn to shop the sales cycles and use coupons.

    I haven't bought shampoo, conditioner or body wash for a year. I once went 6 months without buying trashbags or laundry soap.

    Watch for stores closing. Always check the clearance rack/racks in every store.

    When you find something you use cheap but as much as you can so you don't have to pay full price later

  11. #11
    Garlic
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    Take a look at Mr Money Mustache's blog.

    For a few small examples, I stopped buying beer and wine, bartered with neighbors for goods and services (like beer and wine), and committed to bicycling and public transport on commutes and errands. Sharing a car with my spouse saved a lot over the years.

    Just as important, I carefully arranged my work so I could take months off. It wasn't easy, it took many years, but nothing worth doing ever is easy.

  12. #12

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    Start a new savings account. Put as much as you possibly can in it each week (each paycheck) and adjust your lifestyle to eliminate unnecessary spending. For me, that meant cut way back on eating out. Eat cereal at home, buy generic. I pack my own lunch and have found inexpensive ways to have dinner at home. When if I do go out, order only water to drink.
    Also, as people have said, pay off debt (credit cards, vehicle, etc) so when you are on the trail, you have less need to make payments. I figured I needed to save at least 10 grand, so I can pay my mortgage while I'm hiking. The cable can be shut off, shut off water heater, turn a/c up to 85 so it runs very little (needs to run a little in FL to keep moisture from causing mold/mildew everywhere).
    ...and then hope you don't have to wipe out your savings account to install a new drain field. Ugh. Sometimes life happens, delaying our plans.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by WesleyCBruce View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I know there are artices online about this, but so far they haven't been helpful in that I already do many of the basics... What are some ways people save prior to trips?
    Thanks,
    - Wesley
    Not everyone has the capacity to save a lot, depending on circumstances, so it can be really easy to do or a big challenge.
    1. For cutting expenses, I would start with a list of everything you spend money on. First cut the easiest items and also evaluate every item to see if it's truly needed or you can do it more economically. Small unnecessary daily/monthly expenditures add up quickly. Eg: do I want take out coffee and some weekly beers, or $1,200+ saved for the year.
    2. If #1 is difficult, can you look into other casual employment to supplement your fund?

    A basic monthly budget would help if you aren't sure where all your $$ is going

  14. #14

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    MDD brings up a good idea, opening a new savings account like a Xmas Club specifically for a long distance hike can be very helpful. You can get a short term savings plan via a Xmas Club account from a local bank/credit union, some offering beneficial rates. Fund the account with cost cutting measures like cell phone and cable TV plans. Be sure to take the savings realized from these and other things and put it in the savings account as a way to fund it each month. Saving $50.00 per month nets you $600.00 plus whatever interest accrues and other "found" money from savings along the way.

  15. #15
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Kudos to you for asking how to save money instead of asking people to give you money!

    Even when I had a good "suit & tie" job, I would deliver for Domino's anytime I need a little extra. It's a good way to earn some bucks, and usually can be done without interfering with your day job - unless your day job is a night job.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    ........Be sure to take the savings realized from these and other things and put it in the savings account as a way to fund it each month.....
    Good advice from many folks. Here is another way to do it - pay yourself first. Instead of putting what money you didn't spend in the bank at the end of month, put a set amount in on payday. If you put say $50 in your hiking savings account each payday, you will have no choice but to reduce your spending and likely you will find many ways to do so. It takes a little self discipline at first but it works.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  17. #17
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    Lots of great advice here. Paying cash for stuff is a Dave Ramsey approach that works. I will add that whenever you avoid spending money on a beverage at a restaurant (or some other realized savings), take the cash that the item would have cost and move it from your wallet into your special hiking savings account. Pay yourself for the sacrifices that you make in one area of your life to realize your financial goals in a different area of your life.

  18. #18

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    The Dave Ramsey method minus the religious commentary is pretty good. budget money into envelopes including an AT envelope. When an envelope is empty for that paycheck you cant borrow from the other ones. Definitely switch to cash, its far easier to do debits or credit but the purchase is lot more real when you have to pay cash. in the days of cash I used to dump my change at the end of the day in bucket and then roll up the coins every few months. I usually would end up with $50 from spare change.

    The fundamental problem is you have to train yourself to switch delayed gratification with immediate gratification.

    BTW in some areas there are blood plasma clinics that pay for plasma or even blood itself. There is no long term issues with giving plasma or blood removed from a healthy person. I ran into a hiker once that had O- he got paid a premium for his blood as its Universal.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 02-13-2020 at 14:21.

  19. #19

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    The other part of the equasion is figuring out how much you need to put away each week or month to meet your goal. A good round number is to have $10,000 squirrelled away. $5K for on the trail and $5K to pay recurring bills and to re-enter society.

    Lets say you want to thru hike in 5 years. You'd have to save $2,000 a year or $38.46 week. Round it up to $40 a week. Do you get a tax refund? Stashing that away would put a good dent in what you have to save every week.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  20. #20
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The Dave Ramsey method minus the religious commentary is pretty good...
    Actually, it's a perfect method - just take the 10% of your income Dave believes you should tithe to an organized brick and mortar church and tithe it to your "church in the woods."
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 02-13-2020 at 19:37.

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