I looked over that Bucket List again last night. Now ,I have an idea of how much travel costs. We've had a few trips in the last 10 years. So a quick mental calculation, and I reckon I need a slush fund of between $50,00 and $100,000 to achieve my dream of visiting some of the great cities of the world. Because one thing is for sure...my backpacking days are behind me. This has to be comfortable. Maybe even occasionally luxurious.
NOW I remember why I joined SS! It wasn't just to trim a bit of my food bill and utilities. It was and continues to be an exercise in delayed gratification! I constantly find myself saying to my daughter, things like "Do you really want that Beanie Kid, or would you rather go to Universal Studios next year?" This works, because she knows this is a real plan, not just an empty promise. We've got our savings plan in place. She's looked at the hotel on the net. She's planning which rides she'll go on. She can be involved. She understands, even at the age of 10.
It's also an exercise in living frugally by choice. I have had frugal living thrust upon me often in my lifetime, so it's a relatively new experience to do so because I WANT to. Because I LIKE it. It keeps me on my toes mentally, physically and socially. However, I sometimes feel like I live a dual life. I have some friends, mostly chums I've met on SS, who embrace a similar lifestyle, and don't find phrases like 'guess what I found at Vinnies the other day', a conversation stopper. I also have friends to whom I say very little as I know my choices do not mirror theirs. Once upon a time I would have tried to convert them, probably to my own embarrassment. Now I just let sleeping dogs lie. If they want to buy $6000 handbags, that's between them and their bank manager. It's not for me to comment or judge. It does my head in trying to comprehend the desire, but hey, we're all different. Six grand would get me to France for a month and then some. Why carry that around on your arm with your lippy, tampons, and snotty tissues in it? Go figure.
I remember calculating with the Simple Savings Save-o-Meter, that I had trimmed over $7,000 from our household and personal expenses in my first year as a member. I also remember posting a thread asking who had it, and could I please have it back. The fact is, that the major change I have noticed since joining here, is that I now 'have' money. I 'have' money for the vet, for nice clothes, for unexpected expenses, for birthdays and anniversaries. I just mostly choose NOT to use it. I constantly ask myself 'is there another way'. It's a good feeling to be in control.
I now just have to find a way of generating around $10,000 a year, that I CAN see, and hold and touch and use to book on-line airfares and accomodation.
Suggestions and/or donations to my Bucket List Fund graciously received.
*Thinking cap on*