I Saved $20K in a Year Without Changing My Lifestyle—Here's How

Can I be completely honest with you? I've always been a good saver. I know, that's not something that people usually admit. Among friends, it's far more socially acceptable to lament living paycheck to paycheck, but the truth is that during my 20s, I've learned some incredibly valuable skills that have allowed me to chase my dreams in a way I didn't realize was possible—one of which was saving to travel the world for six months

It's a romantic dream for many, but the reality of being able to live without an income for months on end requires serious saving skills. In other words, before you can be that relaxed, carefree traveler, you have to be the exact opposite, scrutinizing every expense and tracking your progress to make sure you hit the goal. 

If you're ready to give up on your bucket list at the thought of skipping your morning latte, don't. Serious budgeting can sound daunting, but in the yearlong lead-up to my trip, I learned a few financial hacks that helped me reach (and surpass!) my goal. Here's how I managed to save $20,000 in one year to wander the globe. You can too.