A lot of people ask me this. “How can you afford to go to India?” “What will you do for money?” “Why would you quit your job for this?”
It’s quite simple really. I live very minimalistically. I don’t have a laptop. I don’t have a TV. I only recently bought a car, and it was solely for the purpose of Uber. I don’t really go shopping and I don’t wear a lot of makeup. I have a one bedroom apartment and split the bills in half with my roommate.
In a month, my bills are as follows:
Rent and Utilities: $275 (after removing my roommate’s share)
Car/House/Health Insurance: $170
Phone: $160 (it is high, because I have my phone payment in it as well as unlimited international calls and unlimited data. I am not as frugal when it comes to needing these things)
Allowance: $200 ($50/week)
As you can see, I only really require about $1000 in a month. Before having a car it was even less. If I was less ridiculous about my phone plan features, it would be even less. If I was more strict with my allowance, it would be even less. I have, at times, made my expenses less than $500 per month.
I guess it comes down to how badly you want to save. Sure, it is easier for me since I don’t have any children or pets or major health issues. But do we really need to spend $150 every month for cable when there is Netflix/YouTube/Hulu/etc? Do we really need to go out to restaurants and drinking every weekend? Do we really need to buy new shoes every week?
Additionally, when I actually reach India, I will have little to no living expenses. As a member of a work exchange, my time will be exchanged for food and accommodation. Any costs that I do incur will be minimal because India ranks very low on the cost of living spectrum.
Living simply is not for everyone, but if you really truly look at where you’re spending money.. I’m certain that a few things can be reduced to allow you to save more and make your dreams a reality.