It is the dream of many a family to travel the world. It was our dream for a long, long time. We are always asked how we can afford to live as a nomadic family. People assume that we are rich; therefore, we can, but they can’t. Well, we’re not rich. We never have been. We simply made choices that kept our goal constantly in mind. We learned the difference between needs and wants, and chose ‘voluntary frugality’. This entry describes some of the frugality choices and mentality that we developed that allowed for this nomadic family dream to become a reality.
We live in small peripheral town in northern Israel which has saved us thousands in taxes each month.We bought a very modest apartment with a low mortgage. We could have gone for a larger home with overbearing costs to pay the bank each month, to heat and cool, clean and maintain. But, no, we chose something more quaint, cost-efficient, and with an amazing garden on the side of a mountain overlooking Kiryat Shemona, Israel.
We have been using the same practical gas-efficient car for the past seven years and have no intention of renewing it. Though it was inconvenient at times, we sold the second family car and got by using taxis and the help of friends.
We read lots of books about simplicity, leading a more wholesome life, and not believing media marketing and the constant need to consume and purchase to be happy. We learned the delicate difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. We retaught ourselves that ‘more’ doesn’t mean ‘better’, that just because we worked hard does not mean we now ‘deserve to buy’.
We learned that we can be very, very happy without spoiling ourselves with all of ‘life’s little pleasures’. We stayed at home more, ate more at home and participated almost exclusively in free or low-price simple pleasures like events and fairs, trips in nature,and time with friends.
Reeducating Our Children
We did not live in poverty and never gave our children a sense of lacking. We simply, and with pride, explained to our children that “our family chooses to put our money into this”. We taught our children that every family receives a set amount of money and has to decide where to put their resources. We, sometimes painfully, taught them about our views against spontaneous purchases, delaying immediate gratification, and learning how to save up for what is important to us.
This simplicity mindset with our goals very clearly in mind has allowed this simple family to afford a once-in-a-lifetime dream, and to become a nomadic family! We are living our family adventure!
Saving For A Dream
Will it work for everyone? No. Should it? Absolutely not. But if you are dreaming of becoming a nomadic family, dreaming of traveling the world, or dreaming of having enough money set aside so that you can have peace of mind; we’ve written a little book called Saving For A Dream. In it we share, in detail, exactly what we did to save enough money to pay off our student loans, pay off the house mortgage, and save for world travel in four years.
And again, we were never making outrageously high salaries. We just made outrageously focused decisions that allowed our dreams to come true.