Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How do I do it?

....still able to travel so much. Well, for starters, I do make a lot of money but making more money doesn't really translate into more travel. For most of us, making more money means more spending and more expensive stuff. It is either spending on more stuff and more expensive stuff or having all these memories. After a while, 'stuff' losses its novelty and appeal and you're stuck with the bill. Memories lasts a lifetime and never loses it's meaning, it's appeal.Travel is expensive too but there are ways to do it, to save for it and to travel cheaply. Millions before me have done it and millions are currently doing it.
To get more money we can work more. I used to do that but I've scaled back because I'm afraid of 'burn out'. These days I practise very frugal living, saving more, spending less instead of working more.
According to Andrew Tobias,'working more has a lot of costs consequences- the added tax liability, cost of costuming, cost of the ride there and back, expensive food, etc.' To him, saving more makes more sense because you don't incur any costs in saving more. So 'a penny saved is actually 2 pennies saved'. I believe that. It is difficult to scale back at first but with practice it becomes part of your nature, it becomes easier. It's so easy for me that it's ingrained in me.
Lots of people have written about the many ways to save money. One thing I find very effective is:
Track every penny you spend, have a little notebook, write down everything, even the 75 cents candy bar. I did that years ago for a few months. It was so effective that each time I open my wallet, I think to myself 'do I need this?' It means I have to record this and the tally goes up, I don't want to open the book so often and write this down, I have to if I buy it, I don't have to write anything down if I don't buy anything! It has stopped me from spending money many, many times!
75 cents for a small candy bar is very expensive, maybe you should go to the front desk of a restaurant and take one of the free mints they have there instead. That's 75 cents saved. Don't denigrate the small amounts saved, they add up. It also means the changing of a spending habit. For bigger ticket items, I think in terms of an airline ticket, $500? That's half an airline ticket to Europe, NO, thank you, I'll wait.
I still get together with friends I used to work with once in a while and they talk among themselves about things and people I've no clue about. I sit there and smile through it all. The next time you get together with friends, you'd probably have nothing to say, you don't know the latest fashion because you don't shop much anymore, you can't show off your new car. I drive a beat up 99 Camry, mind you, I have cash to pay for a fancy new car, I don't. They talk about restaurants and you can't because you don't eat out. Or even about movies, the only time I watch a movie is when I'm on a plane heading for Europe or coming back from Europe. That's the time I catch up with the movies. Otherwise I just watch Masterpiece Theatre on PBS.
I can talk about how gorgeous and wonderful Sicily is. I made 2 trips there last year (2007), read all about both trips in this blog, about the 'beau plus' villages of Provence, France and so many other places, too many to mention. I can talk about French food, about Sicilian get the picture!

No comments: