No, we didn't win the lottery or have a trust fund. We were an average middle-class DINK (dual income, no kids) household, living below our means, saving money the old-fashioned way to be spent on an event such as a travel sabbatical.
At first, we didn't know how to budget for an 8-month trip, but we took a stab in the dark by figuring out what our average daily cost might be, plus any outstanding bills to maintain our house, private health insurance, and our dog while we were away.
After 8-months and a few unexpected home repairs and veterinary bills, we are astounded by the accuracy of our $ 50,000 budget! Of course, human nature dictates that expenses almost always expand up to a set budget. Isn't that correct? So, if we had set our daily goal at $ 100 instead of $ 150, we would've probably been able to achieve that, albeit a little less comfortably. We're glad we set a realistic goal that fit our lifestyle and stuck to it. We also had help from friends and friends of friends, who graciously provided us free lodging at some points of our journey. We can't thank them enough.
We can't remember the last time we heard these 2 words together, "Balanced Budget", yet here it is in USD: