Both are important! Is one more importnat than the other for you? Here’s my thoughts
My answer is always, yes!!!
We have traveled to lots of places and not spent too much. It does take planning, but we find it well worth it.
You need to search for great deals on the places you want to explore. Look for sales, perks and discounts. Research your options. Right now we are researching an upcoming trip. We are looking for a hotel that is centrally located and near transportation hubs.
Last year in Italy, we stayed at a hotel by the airport. We were able to walk to the hotel when we arrived. You might be thinking it’s not convenient. This particular hotel had a fee shuttle to downtown Rome every two hour between 8 am and 11pm. Yeah! No transportation costs.
For places to stay, we look for hotels / timeshares that have kitchen facilities. It’s more cost effective to go to the market and purchase food than to eat our for every meal. Plus, if possible, you can bring things from home. No, you cannot bring meat and vegetables. You can bring items that you only need a few of instead of buying a large quantity (think salt, pepper, steel wool, paper goods and more). This is a photo from a beach vacation and what we packed in our luggage.
What do you do to reduce your travel costs?
Learn how these people overcame their debt.
What have you done to paydown your debt?
Summer is coming and that makes me think of vacations. You might be saying, here they go again! You may be right, but not yet. There are a couple planned for later this year.
• Noodles / Rafts / Tubes / Snorkel Gear
• Soft-sided cooler – we have one that the freeze pack is a part of the cooler
(one less thing to carry along)
• Entertainment – playing cards, games, etc.
When we travel to a destination, we try to reserve a unit with a kitchen or at least a fridge. This saves us so much money by being able to make and bring our own meals. You might be thinking cooking on vacation – ugh! This can be as simple as having breakfast, beverages and snacks from a grocery store versus paying restaurant or resort prices. Picking up a bottle of water at the store is much more cost effective than buying a bottle at pool side.
Here’s an example of what we do. We bring as much as possible, especially things you won’t finish, like steel wool, paper plates, herbs and more. Next, we place an online order (if that is possible) from the grocery store before we leave. Then we either pick up the order at the store or have it delivered to where we are staying. Having some or most of your meals at grocery store prices saves money. Yes, we still do go out for some meals – just not all.
Remember that you typically cannot bring meat, fruit or vegetables out of the US and into another country. Usually, you can bring sealed items in their original packaging. Here’s one of our suitcases.
If you want a copy of my food packing list, email email@example.com and I will share it with you.
We love the beach. When we travel to a beach / pool destination, we bring along our own toys – noodles, rafts, snorkel gear and more. Not only does this save us money (much cheaper than buying at a hotel or destination), we always have what we want when we want it. This works because we have free checked luggage with our airline credit card. For more money saving tips visit www.JillRussoFoster.com and subscribe to our blog.
Do you want to save some money? We have replaced dryer sheets with wool dryer balls. As an added bonus these have no harmful chemicals. For more money saving tips visit www.JillRussoFoster.com and subscribe to our blog.
To start, we have been making better food choices over the past few years. As we get older, I want to still be active and healthy. This is a journey with small changes happening. We are striving for 50% of our plate to be vegetables. Our proteins are certified grass fed meats and fish with no antibiotics and non-GMO all while staying within our food budget. We shop what’s on sale and plan our meals to get the most from our dollars.
It’s that time of year to plan our garden and have fresh picked vegetables right in our backyard, at a minimal cost for organic seeds. Love this part of summer!
Here are some of our favorites to get more organic vegetables into our meals:
• Chicken Vegetable Soup making healthy bone broth with assorted vegetables. This is great to have on hand when we are short on time for dinner – just heat and eat.
• Lettuce wraps for lots of foods. Big leaf lettuce replaces the bread, wrap, taco and more. Inside can be anything from tuna to tacos – let your imagination run wild.
• Fries are one of my stress foods. But as I make these changes, there goes the fried foods. Now we bake or grill vegetable fries. Try it – avocado fries are one of favorites, but you can use many other veggies.
We are changing our food for the better. This wasn’t done overnight, just small changes (or baby steps) to gradually improve our choices. Our first step was to eliminate trans fats/partially hydrogenated oils, then came nitrates and then GMO’s. This exercise was eye-opening when I went through our pantry and even more surprising reading labels at the store.
As you can see, we are eating more at home and taking meals/snacks from home. Both are good things for our health and benefit our wallet too. More on the other areas of our lives that we have changed in the next issue.
Don’t be in credit card debt. Make a plan to pay it off.
It’s spring and with that we think about projects for our home each. What needs to be done for maintenance? What to we want / need to upgrade / replace? How much can we do ourselves vs. hiring out? How about doing home projects or repairs yourself.
Do you have a broken tile that needs replacing? Do you want to refinish a piece of furniture? Do you want to repair a small leak? Do you want to create a patio? Before you jump into a DIY project, take a few hours to learn a little more about your project.
It’s easier than ever today to learn how to DIY. Home improvement stores offer free classes and/or you can watch a how-to video on the internet. It’s possible to learn from the pros, or from experienced tinkerers, just by setting aside a Saturday morning.
We renovated our current home and were able to do some of it ourselves. We did the demolition: ripped up carpets and vinyl flooring; removed kitchen and bath cabinets; and broke down the plaster walls. We also did as much of the work ourselves as we thought we could handle: we rolled out and stapled the insulation; and taped and painted the inside of the house.
That may be more than you want to tackle, but our partial DIY brought our home improvement project within our budget, so we could afford professional contractors to remove a load bearing wall, install a header beam, rewire the electricity, and add a bath.
Are you ready to tackle a home project or repair? The questions you should be asking yourself are:
- Do you have the time and energy needed to complete the project?
- Do you know how, or could you learn the skills needed, to complete the project?
- Can you afford to have the work completely hired out?
Let me know what you decided, and good luck on your project! Tell me how it turned out in the comments.
Friendship and money – these are things we treasure, but sometimes they can be at odds. I can remember when I started my first business and money was tight. I had friends that wanted us to do what we had always done in the past – going to dinner, going to a sporting event / concerts and more – just like old times.
I remember thinking, I can’t afford this right now. Don’t they realize I just started a business and I am not making the money I used to? How could they even ask this of us to do this? All these thoughts went through my head, but I was too embarrassed to say them out loud.
One of the things I look back on and wish that I was able to share my thoughts. But I didn’t share my thoughts. I kept up outside appearances and did whatever with my friends anyway. I didn’t want to disappoint our friends. I didn’t want them to think that we didn’t have the money. In reality, we didn’t have the money then and we were keeping up outside appearances to “keep up with the Jones” instead of being true to ourselves.
This was and is a hard lesson to learn. We all want to have everything and marketing makes us believe we need all of this. Do we? I think this comes with age and wisdom and I wish I had learned this earlier in life, but I know this now. I know that I treasure time with friends and quiet time and not necessary the stuff.
I personally have grown over time from this young woman and now am more able to express my feeling / situation to others. I can turn down invites, that I don’t want to do. I can say, that’s not something I really want to spend money on. I can request separate checks versus splitting the bill 50/50. All of these are choices that you get to make because it’s your money and time.
Don’t be afraid to express your thoughts out loud to your friends. Be gracious in your words no matter which side you are on. Friendship and money are always going to be a part of your life. Be comfortable with your friends and money and be willing to share your feelings with others. Maybe they are feeling the same and can’t express it.