How to Conduct a Semi-Annual Financial Review

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When I started traveling full-time, it was with a partner who was in a different financial situation to me. We managed our finances separately, but we each knew what the other had. While his savings were pretty small, he expected to get work along the way (which he did, but only to an extent).

We didn’t do semi-annual financial reviews. We totally should have – because it would have saved me from shock when my partner sheepishly admitted that he had run completely out of money….in Australia, on the other side of the world. It was not one of our finest moments.

Regardless of whether you travel solo or as a couple – performing a semi-annual financial review is a necessary exercise to ensure your travels are financially sustainable.

It may sound foreboding, but it doesn’t have to be. In organizing your finances for the road, as we’ve done so far, you already have a clear picture of your financial situation as well as some semblance of a travel budget and expense history.

With this information in hand, simply sit down (together, if you’re a couple) every six months and take stock.

Some questions to answer:

  • How much income have you earned?
  • Will your income change in the next six months?
  • How much money have you spent?
  • Have you dipped into your savings? If so, how much?
  • If you continue to spend at this rate, what will happen in the next six months?
  • Are there any upcoming purchases or expenses you need to prepare for?
  • Are your insurance policies in order?
  • Are your passports, drivers licenses, and any other official documents coming up for renewal? If so, do you have a plan for renewing them from abroad or returning home to take care of it?

These basic questions may lead to further discussion or development, or it may be a simple “check, check, check, we’re good” affair, done before the wine you poured has even aired.

Either way, doing this every six months will help you keep an eye on your finances and the big picture of where it’s going.