On this episode of 2 Frugal Dudes, we’re pursuing FIRE while traveling full-time with Sergio and Shannon of Screwtheaverage.com. In 2016, Sergio and Shannon sold 90% of their belongings and embarked on a year-long travel adventure that spanned 3 continents, 18 house sits, 23 countries and 60 cities, all while only spending $16k. Now, nearly two years later they’re still traveling and house sitting full time!
Sergio and Shannon’s Journey
Sergio comes from humble beginnings, which gave him an early appreciation for frugality. He built his own computer at 14-years-old, graduated from college at 19 with a degree in electronics and later upgraded to a BS in Information Technology. He had $30,000 in debt which he was able to pay off. If Sergio could do something differently, he would have invested rather than using a savings fund from a younger age.
In 2007, Shannon and Sergio met. Shannon didn’t come from such humble background but did have an appreciation for frugality handed down through generations. Together, they worked toward getting their ducks in a row to be able to work remotely from anywhere in the world.
A Life of Adventure
As far as Sergio and Shannon are concerned, being a part of the FIRE community is about adventuring, not about a number in the bank. They make smart choices around purchases with no formal budget, but they do track their expenses. As they are both minimalists, they are able to spend about $700 a month in total.
Sergio and Shannon also travel to the opportunity rather than keeping a specific destination and timeline in mind. House sitting has provided that opportunity. When there are no house sitting opportunities, they fill gaps using points and smart spending (looking for hotel deals, avoiding restaurants, etc.)
About House Sitting
House sitting is when a homeowner is going away and needs someone to watch their home, and usually their pets. Sergio and Shannon look for opportunities to do this around the globe, making a vacation out of the vacation of others!
The house sitting sites that Sergio and Shannon use are similar to Airbnb: they have a posting and are able to look through listings with information about the length of time, responsibilities, location, etc. They look for places that are in an area they want to visit with high-speed internet so that they can work on their consulting jobs.
Shannon and Sergio recommend Trusted House Sitters and MindMyHouse. If you love animals and love travel, this is a good gig for you. You will not be monetarily compensated for this experience, but it relieves you of the expense of accommodations.
Getting Points on a Limited Budget
One of the challenges with minimalist living is that it’s hard to accumulate points on a credit card when Sergio and Shannon don’t spend much. They’ve worked around that by having family members put large transactions through their credit card, as well as bulking purchases (such as replacement laptops) to take advantage of point deals when possible.
Frugal Tip of the Week
Sergio and Shannon teach you how to hack hotels and find cheap accomodations on their site Screwtheaverage.com
Visit the site and find out the resources Sergio and Shannon use and how you can see the world on a budget and how to pack for it!
Where Our Money Went
Kevin had to pay for car maintenance because when his wife would touch the brakes, the turn signal would turn on! Fortunately, Kevin was able to get the parts on Amazon for a reasonable price.
Sean also had to pay for car maintenance after getting a nail in the sidewall of his tire. Fortunately, he was able to get tires from Walmart with a warranty. He had the warranty already, so the new tire only cost about $20.