Building a Budget for a Dream

Although our Poker Pilgrimage is still five years away, we spend a lot of time thinking about its viability and about building a budget for our dream. We are fortunate to work as consultants and thus know that we will be able to take our jobs on the road.  However, a year of travel (and poker!) will certainly lead to reduced hours, and a wide variety of costs (gas, food, lodging for a start) that are different than those we face today.

Building a Budget
Building a Budget
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On the other hand, we plan to give up our apartment and one of our cars, as well as taking other actions that will reduce or eliminate costs that we bear today. Our Pilgrimage budget will both help us get an idea of the costs we can expect during our year of travel, as well as tell us how much we need to start saving today for a successful trip.

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While we will offer a rough budget today, we intend to update this budget regularly as we take deeper dives into each aspect of our proposed travel experience. We will categorize these posts in our “Building the Stakes” thread if you would like to follow along as our budget develops. We will also keep our most current budget posted on our Trip Status page.

For our first budget, we share our original baseline estimates for our yearlong trip.

Monthly Budget CategoryAmountNotes
Lodging1800Assumes $60/night at VRBP or AirBNB
FIOS0No cable
Utilities0No Utilities
Phone / Internet Access150Need to Explore Options
Health Insurance (couple)1200Need to Explore Options
Car Insurance (1 car)60
Groceries300Need to estimate
Gas400Need to calculate
Car Property Tax50
Dining600Need to estimate
Entertainment200Need to estimate
Household0No household!
Poker1000Need to estimate
Emergency Fund100

As you can see, we are starting with a very rough estimate. Over time (and a number of future posts!) we will fully explore each of the items above to refine our budget. We will share each of these explorations in a post so that you will learn the financial ins and outs of poker travel along with us.

In future posts we will also talk about how we have started side-hustling to make a little extra cash to start putting away for our trip. And how we work to shave our current budget to get more into savings for our dream.

If you have any questions about the initial budget we are building or why any of our numbers are as they are, feel free to ask in the comments.


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2 thoughts to “Building a Budget for a Dream”

  1. Have you guys considered some form of vehicle camping aka overlanding whether in a traditional truck camper, a van, or something else? You could reduce your lodging to almost zero (free places) or a a few hundred per month (paid places) and you could reduce your dining costs by cooking more.

    Plus, what would be awesome for your journey is that many, many casinos allow free camping, so you can play poker and then just walk out to the parking lot to sleep. I did a lot of casino camping, and I gambled basically zero, haha. More details:

  2. Ryan,

    We have thought about RV travel and plan to investigate it more. Neither of us has ever been in an RV before, so we’ll have to take a short practice trip at some point to see whether we can 1) drive an RV and 2) not kill each other living in an RV. But we look forward to trying it out!

    Thanks for being our first commenter.


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