Money is a delicate thing. It’s delicate to talk about: some people get very uncomfortable being asked about money, others will talk for hours about their latest insanely successful venture, might it be true or not. Despite being a difficult topic, we’ll give it a try. Let’s talk about money on our trip.
A major objective of this trip is to step out of the cycle of making and spending as much money as possible. We wanted to live cheaper, we wanted to trade things for more time, and attempt to be happier in doing so. But money is an essential part of this world, the idea of possession and that things and services have a value is fundamental to the human mind. Even if we wanted, we couldn’t live completely without money. Our car needs gas and sometimes repairs, we need water and food, and the occasional beer. This is the reason we saved up before we left home, which is how we are financing our travels.
Our initial plan was to use about 10$ per day per person. We knew that in North America, this would be very difficult or impossible, but we hoped it would even out a bit once we cross the border into Latin America. So far, our plan is holding up alright. Our 10$ are more something like 15$, but we are still in North America, so that’s within our expectations. Still, we are trying our best to be as frugal as possible.
Should we accept money offered to us?
Over the last months since we’ve started our adventure, we’ve met a great amount of wonderful people. We are a sociable bunch, but it’s Big Emma who is the real crowd magnet. Not a day goes by that somebody walks up to us in a parking lot or a rest stop and starts a conversation. Sometimes we only talk about the car, sometimes we tell them about the trip. Then most of them say “Oh, wow. Argentina! That’s really far away!” Sometimes we get asked how we finance ourselves. And sometimes, people give us money. For gas, for the trip, for something. We feel honored being offered money for what we are doing, but it also feels strange. Should we accept it? Should we not? We’ve discussed this question at great length and have eventually decided to accept money that is offered to us. In the end, it helps us to pay for expenses along the way. In the end, we’ll be happy for every gallon of gas we get. In the end, if people want to help us, I am very happy about it and humbled to think that people can be so kind.
On a few occasions we have been asked if it was possible to donate money to us over the Internet. “No,” we would say, “sorry, but that’s not possible.” It wasn’t, until now. After much discussion and thought we have decided to put a donate button on our website. What was there to discuss?
1.) A donation is per definition altruistic. There is no product or service we provide in return. It feels uncomfortable to accept money and to give nothing back.
2.) The existence of a way to donate could also lead people to believe we are asking them for money. Understandably, asking for donations (remember, no direct giving-back is involved) to fund our travels is not considered a very noble thing to do, and we don’t want to do that.
But we also believe it would be foolish to refuse help if it is offered. That’s why we created a way for you to donate a few dollars to our gas tank if you want to. That last part is important. We’re not asking for money and we never will. But if you feel like you would like to give us some, we won’t stop you either. In fact, we believe you are smart enough to know whether you want to donate to us or not, and setting up a donation button won’t change that. If you would like to help us out, click the button, choose the amount, put in your information, and that’s it. And if you feel like it, please tell us something about you and why you want to support us in the message section, we’d love to know who you are. And if you give us your address, we’ll promise to send you a Christmas card (like, really)!
If you want to donate to us, now you can
If you want to help us out, but don’t have any money to spare (believe us, we know what that’s like) or don’t think money is the right way to show your support, there are other ways to assist us: maybe you live somewhere along our route and have a driveway we could park in? Or you know somebody down the road we definitely have to meet? Or you know of someplace really interesting you think we would enjoy? Or maybe you are a musician and have some music recorded you would allow us to use in our videos?
In any case, no matter if you donate anything or not, we want to thank you for being here and will continue to make quality content. This is what we love to do, this blog is our passion, and we hope you like what we create. Even if you just like to read what we write, that is also a major form of support. So, however you chose to show it, thank you.