How I saved $10,000 in a year:
- First off, I redefine what a “year” is. I’m a modern woman and I do as I please. In my world, a year is 500 days.
- No one gets gifts on birthdays or holidays. My love and respect should be sufficient.
- I never buy pens or sticky notes for home use; I’ve found an employer who just orders them whenever I need- no questions asked.
- On Wednesdays… I photosynthesize.
- I’ve reset my sleep cycle so I go to bed at 8:00pm and wake up at 7:00am. This eliminates any temptation to socialize in the evening or exercise in the morning. Who needs friends or a gym membership?!
- Abusing the free coffee at work. By doing this, not only do I not need to purchase coffee for my home or in a coffee shop, but coffee also does a great job suppressing my appetite- cut my grocery bill by 1/3!
- Prioritizing beauty and hygiene products. Conditioner is a “yes” but body wash, shampoo, deodorant, and tampons are a “no” (besides, with the free work paperclips I’ve learned how to access the tampuzzle games in public restrooms!)
- Sheer will-power. No matter your life circumstances, you should be able to save $10k each year. No prob. Easy-peasy. Just like that! Poof! It’s a snap! Cha ching!
Regular reader? Then you’ll know that was a touch of satire I dabbled in up there (and you’ll also know I work for a non-profit and there’s literally no way that I could save $10k in a year). I’m so sick of seeing the posts like “How I saved $10k in One Year and Now I Travel the World Full-Time” posts. First off, to save $10k in a year, you need to be making (*and by “making” I mean usable income- after taxes and other deductions) at least 2.5x that “super-easy” $10k. B U T :: some people do make that, and that’s cool. Conceptually, saving should be easy- but things come up: you need to move and pay a security deposit, rent hike, broken blender, dates, friend’s birthdays/weddings/babies.
So while, yes, saving $10k in a year is totally possible, I will not be clicking any more of those articles. It’s hard to take a lot of the advice seriously since I don’t know what they’re making, their monthly expenses, and a general cost of living summary from their area.
The best, practical advice I can offer:
Make realistic concessions. Pick one or two things that make you happy that you refuse to remove from your budget. I chose 2 things: I’m keeping my gym membership… and my “fun fund” is all-encompassing ($20/week + $20/weekend = goes real fast). I schedule socialization around my budget goals and keep track of every little expense I have. This makes dating r e a l hard.
Also, the Female Travel Blogger’s Pinterest board is probably the best overall resource I’ve encountered: real-life advice from actual people in various different life situations- diversity #forthewin.
If you’re already in a position where you’re not making a lot of money, don’t further stress yourself by feeling like you have to remove all enjoyment from your life just because some other traveller said ‘that’s what you need to do to save for travel’ (or whatever else). Ultimately, you don’t know where they started and what their life-financial situation is, and its probably different than yours.
- Do you have any wacky travel-saving tips?
- What other (subjectively) strange travel advice have you encountered?