About two months before starting this blog I booked a one way ticket to Honolulu from Wisconsin. It had been over a year after I graduated college, I hadn’t made much of myself back home, and all I knew is I wanted to see the world, follow my passion for scuba diving, and invest at a young age.
I ran the risks versus rewards in my head and decided there was a huge upside with little downside. I saved up enough cash to live here frugally for about six months. On the upside, I could follow my passion for scuba diving, meet a gorgeous Asian woman, and enjoy the beach everyday! On the downside, I would have lived in Hawaii for six months and start right where I left off back home.
When running the numbers before I left I realized that I could live on significantly less than what everyone was telling me back home.
Some of the Naysayers said:
“Hawaii’s too expensive”
“You won’t be able to make it out there”
“Milk is $8 a gallon”
It turns out, that they were wrong.
So Why’d I Move Here?
1. Wanted to be in a warm climate all year round so that I could exercise outside and ride my bike to work.
2. Wanted to be able to scuba dive – this is one of my passions that I’m following which is more important to me than money.
3. I Heard there were hotter women in Hawaii than in Wisconsin (I kid… kinda)
4. It’s one of the many places I wanted to explore in my lifetime.
5. I thought the experience of putting myself out there would help me grow and challenge me, thus building character and making me a more rounded person.
Now, I did a bit of research before I came here, as a bachelor. I looked on craigslist for apartments, estimated cost of living, and all that jazz and I noticed it was affordable… If I was frugal.
Here’s a breakdown of my expenses before I left, and my current expenses:
My expenses in Wisconsin
Rent: 300 (3 guys in a house)
Utilities: 100 (I had cable there as well cause the roommates wanted it)
Car Insurance: 80
Total: 815 / month
My expenses in Honolulu
Rent: 650 (I have a roommate in a two bedroom apt 1 mile from the beach)
Utilities: 50 (turn off the lights)!
Groceries: 250 (A bit on the high side because I invest in healthy food)
Total: 995 / month
Alright, so I’m a bit of a frugal maniac, but I have a ton of time on my hands, the ability to work more if I want, and most of the things I do all year round are free such as: snorkeling, running, reading, hiking, and sight seeing. I also bike to work and almost everywhere else, otherwise I’ll just take the bus or hitch a ride with a friend.
I do realize there are other expenses that do pop up, but these are the basics, my budget doesn’t fluctuate much from this.
This is proof that if you want you can live in any city you’d like for below minimum wage. My monthly income is about twice my expenses at the moment so I have plenty to spend if I wanted, but am using it to also pay down my debts.
Try running your numbers in a city you’d like to live in and then ask yourself… why am I not living there?