When I started planning my RTW trip, I thought I’d need $20,000 for my travel budget – essentially a full year’s salary for me. Turns out that number is pretty accurate. But in the past week, I’ve learned a lot about where that $20,000 will come from.

There may be quite a few odds and ends missing from BootsnAll’s budget calculator. This actually turned out to be a useful tool for me in forcing me to reevaluate my travel budget.

Taking the time to cut my expenses beyond a few initial changes, and realizing how much I can earn by selling my stuff has made a big difference. I’ve also taken two extra steps that BootsnAll doesn’t ask for at this stage of its planning course. I estimated how much I’ll save on flights by using frequent flier miles. I also added how much income I plan to make by working on the road.

Working every other day – technically still a part-time schedule – could bring in up to $1000 a month while I travel. Totally worth the expense of an international phone and data plan. That means 50% of my budget doesn’t have to be in my savings account before I leave. That $10,000 will amass over time.

This, of course, means I don’t have to save $20,000. I only have to save $10,000.

Florence Ponte Vecchio

By the end of this month, using my original savings plan, I’ll have just shy of $4,000 in the bank. Which leaves only $6,000 to be saved.

By becoming a little more ruthless in restricting my spending next year, I can bump my monthly savings up from $600 to $700 a month. That’s another $4,000+ earned by July of next year. And selling my stuff could easily supplement the final $2,000 I need.

What I originally thought would take me until 2018 to do, could actually be accomplished two whole years sooner. Even compared to the revised plan I came up with a few months ago to leave in 2017, this is 12 more months I don’t have to spend at a desk.

So would I rather wait longer and do more? Or leave sooner and work harder? To be honest, right now I’m on the fence. Leaving sooner will be harder on my family and will mean having some extra stress on the road, as well as before I leave. But waiting another 18 months, instead of just six, might be just as hard on me mentally.

I think this may be one of those times I need to learn to let go and see what happens, instead of micromanaging my life in advance.

So how much exactly will I spend  on the road? Check out my full RTW travel budget.

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