Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Success Stories: Lauren Saved $18k For Her Epic Adventure


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Evy Sledge



Embarking on an epic adventure to explore the world is a dream shared by many travel enthusiasts. The idea of discovering new cultures, embracing breathtaking landscapes, and creating unforgettable memories is enticing. However, turning this dream into reality requires careful planning, determination, and financial discipline.


In this success story, we’ll explore how Lauren, a passionate traveler, managed to save an impressive $18,000 to fund her epic adventure. From setting her goal to overcoming challenges along the way, Lauren’s journey serves as an inspiration for anyone looking to turn their travel dreams into a reality.


Lauren’s story is a testament to the power of perseverance and smart financial strategies. By diligently implementing a savings plan, cutting expenses, finding additional income streams, staying motivated, and overcoming challenges, she was able to reach her milestone of $18,000. Let’s delve into the details of how Lauren accomplished this remarkable feat.

Setting the Goal


Like many travelers, Lauren had a long list of destinations she wanted to explore. However, she knew that without a clear and achievable goal, her dream would remain just that – a dream. Lauren decided to set a specific target of saving $18,000 for her epic adventure. This amount would cover her travel expenses, including flights, accommodation, food, and activities for an extended period of time.


Setting the Goal

Like many travelers, Lauren had a long list of destinations she wanted to explore. However, she knew that without a clear and achievable goal, her dream would remain just that – a dream. Lauren decided to set a specific target of saving $18,000 for her epic adventure. This amount would cover her travel expenses, including flights, accommodation, food, and activities for an extended period of time.


Setting a goal was an important first step for Lauren. It gave her something to strive for and a tangible target to work towards. By setting a specific savings amount, she was able to break it down into manageable milestones and track her progress along the way.


Lauren chose $18,000 as her target after conducting thorough research on the destinations she planned to visit. She factored in the cost of living, transportation, and activities in each location to come up with a realistic budget. This allowed her to determine the amount she needed to save in order to comfortably explore the destinations on her bucket list.


When setting your own savings goal for an epic adventure, it’s important to consider the destinations you wish to visit, the duration of your trip, and the type of experiences you want to have. Researching the average costs of accommodation, transportation, food, and activities in each location will give you a better understanding of how much you need to save.


Additionally, it’s crucial to be realistic about your current financial situation and any existing commitments or expenses that may affect your saving capacity. Setting a goal that is challenging yet attainable will motivate you to stay disciplined and make the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle to reach your desired target.


With her goal firmly established, Lauren was ready to embark on her journey towards saving $18,000. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she was determined to make her travel dreams come true.


Developing a Savings Plan

With her goal of saving $18,000 in mind, Lauren knew she needed a solid plan to make it happen. She understood that she would have to make some sacrifices and implement effective strategies to maximize her savings. Here is how Lauren developed her savings plan:

1. Assessing Current Expenses


The first step in developing a savings plan was to analyze her current expenses. Lauren meticulously reviewed her monthly bills, including rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment. By identifying areas where she could cut back, she was able to create a more realistic budget that allocated more funds towards her travel savings.

2. Setting a Budget


Based on her assessment, Lauren established a detailed budget that outlined her fixed expenses and discretionary spending. She set limits on categories such as dining out, entertainment, and shopping, redirecting the saved funds towards her travel savings. The budget acted as a guiding tool, helping Lauren stay on track and make conscious spending decisions.

3. Automating Savings


To ensure consistent progress towards her goal, Lauren set up automatic transfers from her checking account to a designated travel savings account. By automating her savings, she minimized the risk of temptation to spend the money earmarked for travel. This method also helped her stay disciplined and consistent in her saving efforts.

4. Tracking Progress


Lauren kept a record of her savings progress by regularly tracking her expenses and updating her savings spreadsheet. She found that visually seeing her progress motivated her and kept her accountable. It also allowed her to make adjustments to her savings plan if needed.

5. Adjusting Lifestyle


To further accelerate her saving journey, Lauren made conscious lifestyle adjustments. She found creative ways to enjoy free or low-cost entertainment, cooked more meals at home, and replaced expensive outings with cost-effective alternatives. These small changes had a significant impact on her overall savings.


By developing a comprehensive savings plan and sticking to it, Lauren was well on her way to reaching her $18,000 goal. The combination of budgeting, automation, tracking, and lifestyle adjustments ensured that she was consistently working towards her epic adventure.


Cutting Expenses

One of the key aspects of Lauren’s savings journey was cutting expenses. She realized that by making smart choices and reducing unnecessary spending, she could free up more money to put towards her travel savings. Here are some strategies Lauren employed to effectively cut expenses:

1. Reviewing Monthly Bills


Lauren started by closely examining her monthly bills and identifying areas where she could cut costs. She researched different service providers and negotiated lower rates for her internet, cable, and phone bills. By simply making a few phone calls and exploring alternative options, she was able to significantly reduce her monthly expenses.

2. Cooking Meals at Home


Instead of dining out or ordering takeout, Lauren discovered the joy of cooking meals at home. She learned new recipes, experimented with different cuisines, and packed her own lunches for work. Not only did this help her save money, but it also allowed her to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

3. Cutting Down on Entertainment Costs


Lauren found alternative ways to have fun and enjoy entertainment without breaking the bank. She subscribed to streaming services instead of costly cable packages, attended local free events and festivals, and utilized free community resources such as libraries and parks. These choices enabled her to reduce her entertainment expenses while still enjoying a fulfilling social life.

4. Minimizing Transportation Expenses


Lauren made a conscious effort to minimize her transportation expenses. She opted to walk or cycle whenever possible, taking advantage of public transportation for longer distances. By reducing her reliance on a personal vehicle, she not only saved money on gas and maintenance but also contributed to a greener environment.

5. Rethinking Shopping Habits


Instead of indulging in impulsive shopping sprees, Lauren adopted a more mindful approach to her purchases. She evaluated whether she truly needed an item before buying and searched for deals, discounts, and second-hand options. This allowed her to save money while still satisfying her occasional shopping desires.


By implementing these strategies and becoming more conscious of her spending habits, Lauren successfully cut down on her monthly expenses. She found that making small changes in her lifestyle resulted in significant savings over time.


Finding Additional Income

While cutting expenses was an important part of Lauren’s savings journey, she also recognized the value of finding additional sources of income. By increasing her earnings, she could accelerate her progress towards her $18,000 goal. Here are some ways Lauren found additional income:

1. Freelancing and Gig Work


Lauren utilized her skills and interests to take on freelance projects and gig work. She offered services such as graphic design, writing, tutoring, and event planning on online platforms and within her local community. This enabled her to earn extra income in her free time while pursuing her passions.

2. Renting Out Spare Space


Lauren had a spare room in her apartment that she decided to rent out on platforms like Airbnb. By hosting guests, she was able to generate a steady stream of additional income. This not only helped cover a portion of her monthly rent but also contributed towards her travel savings.

3. Selling Unwanted Items


To declutter her living space and make some extra money, Lauren went through her belongings and identified items she no longer needed or used. She sold these items through online marketplaces or organized garage sales. This not only provided her with a boost in income but also helped create a more minimalist and streamlined lifestyle.

4. Taking on Part-Time Jobs


Recognizing that her current income might not be sufficient to reach her savings goal within her desired timeframe, Lauren took on part-time jobs. She explored opportunities in the hospitality industry, retail, or tutoring, choosing positions that fit her schedule and allowed her to earn a steady income while still pursuing her personal and professional goals.

5. Monetizing Hobbies and Skills


Lauren recognized that some of her hobbies and skills had the potential to generate additional income. She turned her love for photography into a side business, offering photoshoots and selling her artwork. She also taught yoga classes on weekends, using her passion for wellness to earn extra money. By leveraging her existing talents, Lauren was able to turn her hobbies into profitable ventures.


By actively seeking out additional income streams, Lauren was able to supplement her regular earnings and boost her savings. It required determination and a willingness to explore different opportunities, but the extra income she earned brought her closer to achieving her travel goals.


Staying Motivated

Throughout her journey to save $18,000 for her epic adventure, it was essential for Lauren to stay motivated. Saving such a significant amount of money required long-term commitment and discipline. Here are the strategies she employed to keep herself motivated:

1. Visualizing the End Goal


Lauren created a vision board that showcased her dream destinations and the experiences she wanted to have during her travels. She placed it in a prominent location where she saw it every day. This visual reminder of her ultimate goal served as a constant motivator, reminding her why she was making financial sacrifices.

2. Celebrating Milestones


To celebrate her progress and maintain motivation, Lauren set smaller milestones along the way. For every $1,000 saved, she treated herself to a small reward or experience. This provided a tangible reminder of what she was working towards and the progress she had made so far.

3. Joining Supportive Communities


Lauren sought out like-minded individuals who were also saving for their travel adventures. She joined online communities and attended local meetups where she could share her journey, exchange tips and advice, and find support during moments of doubt. Being surrounded by people with similar goals helped keep her motivated and inspired.

4. Rewarding Herself with Non-Monetary Treats


While saving money was the primary focus, Lauren also recognized the importance of self-care and treating herself along the way. She indulged in activities that brought her joy but didn’t require a significant financial investment. This could be as simple as taking a relaxing bath, enjoying a picnic in the park, or spending quality time with loved ones.

5. Visualizing the Freedom of Travel


When faced with temptation to spend money on impulse purchases, Lauren reminded herself of the freedom and excitement that awaited her during her travels. She visualized the experiences, the people she would meet, and the memories she would create. This helped her resist immediate gratification and prioritize her long-term goals.


By implementing these strategies, Lauren maintained her motivation throughout her savings journey. Even during challenging times, she always kept her eyes on the prize, knowing that the sacrifices she was making would lead her to the adventure of a lifetime.


Overcoming Challenges

While on her quest to save $18,000 for her epic adventure, Lauren encountered various challenges along the way. However, she approached each obstacle as an opportunity to learn and grow. Here’s how she overcame some of the common challenges:

1. Unexpected Expenses


Throughout her savings journey, Lauren faced unexpected expenses that threatened to derail her progress. Whether it was a medical emergency or a car repair, she had to find creative solutions to cover these costs without compromising her goal. She built an emergency fund to handle unforeseen expenses and adjusted her budget to accommodate them without impacting her travel savings.

2. Peer Pressure


Lauren often encountered peer pressure from friends and family who didn’t fully understand her dedication to saving for her travels. They would invite her to pricey outings and encourage her to splurge on unnecessary luxuries. To overcome this challenge, she communicated her goals and priorities with her loved ones, explaining why she needed to stick to her savings plan. By finding a balance between socializing and staying true to her financial goals, she was able to overcome peer pressure.

3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)


As she saw friends and acquaintances enjoying lavish vacations and experiences, Lauren occasionally experienced FOMO. She longed to join them and worried that she was missing out on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. To combat this, she reminded herself of her own unique journey and the incredible experiences that awaited her when she reached her savings goal. By focusing on the bigger picture and being patient, she found solace in knowing that her own adventure would be even more rewarding.

4. Resisting Impulse Purchases


Like anyone, Lauren faced temptations to make impulse purchases. She found herself drawn to shiny new gadgets, trendy fashion items, and other non-essential luxuries. To overcome this challenge, she implemented a “wait and evaluate” strategy. She would give herself time to think over a purchase and evaluate whether it aligned with her values and long-term goals. This approach helped her resist instant gratification and prioritize her travel savings.

5. Burnout and Impatience


During her savings journey, Lauren sometimes experienced burnout and impatience. It became challenging to maintain the same level of motivation for an extended period. To address these feelings, she took breaks and practiced self-care. Whether it was going for a hike, taking a mini-vacation locally, or simply enjoying a day off, she made sure to recharge and refocus her energy. These breaks helped her maintain a sense of balance and renewed enthusiasm towards her savings goal.


Through resilience and determination, Lauren overcame various challenges that threatened to hinder her progress. Each hurdle served as an opportunity for personal growth and reinforced her commitment to achieving her travel dreams.


Reaching the $18k Milestone

After months of diligent saving and overcoming challenges, Lauren finally reached her milestone of $18,000. The moment was a culmination of her hard work, determination, and financial discipline. Here’s how she achieved this significant milestone:


1. Consistent Savings: Throughout her savings journey, Lauren remained consistent in her efforts. She made regular contributions to her travel savings, whether it was through automated transfers or setting aside a portion of her income every month. Even on months when unexpected expenses arose, she found ways to adjust her budget and continue saving.


2. Tracking Progress: Lauren kept a close eye on her savings progress. She regularly updated her savings spreadsheet, recorded her income and expenses, and compared them to her projected savings timeline. This helped her stay accountable and make adjustments when necessary.


3. Adjusting Strategies: If she noticed that she wasn’t making sufficient progress towards her milestone, Lauren would revisit her savings plan and look for areas to optimize. She would brainstorm new ways to cut expenses, increase her income, or accelerate her savings. These adjustments allowed her to stay on track and maintain momentum.


4. Celebrating Milestones: Along the way, Lauren celebrated smaller savings milestones as a way to acknowledge her progress. Each $1,000 saved became a reason to treat herself to a small reward or experience. This not only provided a sense of accomplishment but also fueled her motivation to continue saving.


5. Seeking Support: Whenever she felt overwhelmed or discouraged, Lauren sought support from her friends, family, and online communities. Their encouragement, advice, and shared experiences reminded her that she was not alone in her journey. Their support provided the boost she needed to keep persevering.


Reaching the $18,000 milestone was a significant achievement for Lauren. It represented her dedication, perseverance, and commitment to making her travel dreams a reality. With this milestone in her pocket, she was now ready to embark on her epic adventure – confident that her hard-earned savings would provide her with unforgettable experiences and memories to cherish for a lifetime.


Planning the Epic Adventure

With her $18,000 milestone reached, Lauren was now ready to plan her epic adventure. The meticulous planning process was just as exciting as the journey itself. Here’s how Lauren went about planning her unforgettable adventure:


1. Destination Research: Lauren had already envisioned a list of dream destinations she wanted to explore. However, she conducted thorough research on each location to determine the best time to visit, visa requirements, local customs, and activities available. This research helped her narrow down her itinerary and make informed decisions.


2. Creating a Flexible Itinerary: Lauren wanted to strike a balance between having a planned itinerary and leaving room for spontaneity. She outlined the must-see attractions and experiences in each destination while allowing flexibility for unexpected opportunities and local recommendations along the way.


3. Budget Allocation: With her savings goal achieved, Lauren had a clear understanding of the amount she could allocate for different aspects of her trip. She divided her budget into categories such as accommodations, transportation, food, activities, and emergency funds. This allowed her to make wise decisions and ensure she stayed within her financial means.


4. Booking Flights and Accommodations: Armed with her budget and itinerary, Lauren started booking flights and accommodation. She used trusted travel websites and compared prices to find the best deals. She opted for a mix of budget accommodations, local guesthouses, and occasional splurges on unique experiences.


5. Immersive Experiences: To truly dive into the local culture, Lauren sought out immersive experiences. She booked cooking classes, guided tours, and homestays to connect with locals and gain a deeper understanding of each destination. These experiences added richness and authenticity to her adventure.


6. Travel Insurance and Safety Precautions: Safety was a top priority for Lauren. She made sure to purchase travel insurance that provided adequate coverage for any unforeseen circumstances. She also researched safety tips and precautions specific to each destination to ensure a smooth and secure journey.


7. Packing Essentials: Lauren carefully curated her packing list to include essentials and items specific to her chosen destinations and activities. She prioritized lightweight and versatile clothing, essential travel documents, a reliable backpack, comfortable footwear, and any specialized equipment she might need.


With her adventure meticulously planned, Lauren was brimming with excitement and anticipation. The planning process ensured that she could make the most of her travels while staying within her budget and experiencing the destinations in a meaningful way.



Lauren’s journey of saving $18,000 for her epic adventure is a testament to the power of perseverance, determination, and smart financial strategies. Through careful planning and unwavering commitment, she turned her travel dreams into reality. Along the way, she encountered challenges, made sacrifices, and learned valuable lessons that shaped her mindset and approach towards money and travel.


Setting a specific savings goal and developing a detailed plan allowed Lauren to stay focused and track her progress. Cutting expenses, finding additional income sources, and staying motivated were vital components of her success. By making conscious choices, resisting temptations, and staying disciplined, she was able to reach her milestone of $18,000.


Lauren’s journey also emphasized the importance of overcoming challenges. From unexpected expenses to peer pressure and moments of doubt, she faced them head-on, not allowing them to deter her from her ultimate goal. By staying resilient, seeking support, and adapting her strategies, she overcame these obstacles and emerged stronger on the other side.


Reaching the $18,000 milestone was a significant achievement for Lauren, but it was just the beginning of her adventure. With a well-planned itinerary, budget allocations, and immersive experiences, she was ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Her meticulous planning ensured that she would make the most of her travels while still staying within her financial means.


Lauren’s success story serves as an inspiration for anyone with a burning desire to explore the world. It reminds us that with determination, perseverance, and smart financial planning, we can transform our travel dreams into reality. Whether it’s saving for an epic adventure or pursuing any other goal, the lessons learned from Lauren’s journey can be applied to achieve our own ambitions.


So, if you have ever dreamt of embarking on your own epic adventure, know that it is possible. Start by setting a specific goal, developing a savings plan, staying disciplined, seeking support, and adapting as needed. With dedication and smart financial strategies, you can make your travel dreams come true, just as Lauren did.