Travel

5 savings strategies used by Danielle Desir to travel and save for a house

5 savings strategies used by Danielle Desir to travel and save for a house

  • Entrepreneur Danielle Désir has managed to travel to 27 countries while saving to buy a house.
  • She booked her plane tickets months in advance to cut travel costs.
  • Once she bought her house, she rented it out to roommates to help pay her mortgage.
  • This article is part of Women of Means, a series about women taking control of their finances.

Most people feel they have to choose between having a generous travel fund and saving for a home, but 31 Danielle Desire did both.

Desir is an author, podcaster, and entrepreneur who has traveled to 27 countries while saving for the down payment to buy her first four-bedroom home in Connecticut. Desir’s family taught him how to save, opening a savings account for him when he was 15 and investing in mutual funds and CDs when he was 17.

As she got older, she had big dreams of traveling the world, working remotely, and owning her own home. “I wanted to show that I could be the and person, the person who hasn’t had to choose between buying a house and traveling and paying off debt – I can do anything,” Desir told Insider.

Here are five strategies Desir has used to balance saving for a home while traveling the world.

1. Open savings accounts for each goal

Assigning different savings accounts to each goal helped Desir clarify his progress on each one. “It’s also really helpful because if I see a flight or travel offer,” she said, “I know exactly which account to go to and I know how much I can actually spend.”

2. Automate savings

“I tried to think of my travel fund and my home savings as bills that I had to pay,” Desir said. She set up automatic transfers whenever she was paid into her two savings accounts.

While some people prefer to save a penny before a big vacation, Desir said she learned “not to miss that money instead of stressing out before a trip.” She said the stress and pinch before a big vacation only leads to “financial chaos and mental gymnastics”, and that worrying about not having enough for the trip can get in the way of fun.

3. Start with $25 per paycheck

“I started very small, and I feel like a lot of people would be like, ‘Why bother? ‘” Desir said. “But after a year, I was able to make my first trip to Paris, and that gave me confidence.” As her income increased, she was able to tap more into her travel savings.

“Slow and steady is OK,” she said. “You don’t have to save $500 all at once.”

4. Book your flights 6 to 9 months in advance

Another way for Desir to balance his travel and lodging savings was to book trips months in advance to keep costs down. Flights are usually cheaper when you book as early as possible. Desir said, “It gave me plenty of time to save for all the extras I needed that weren’t covered by that first set of expenses.”

Booking trips in advance has also helped her balance her savings for a house so she doesn’t spend tons of money all at once on a trip.

5. Rent extra rooms in your house

Once Desir bought her house, she wanted to keep traveling. As the very first landlord, she had to adjust to new expenses, so she decided to find roommates to save money. She was 27 and single when she bought her first home, which meant she was free to monetize the extra bedrooms to give her more money in her travel fund.

“Having roommates was a journey,” Desir said. “It was very difficult, but it closed the gap.”