Monday, June 13, 2011

Travel Diet? I hate the word diet.

This is part of a series responding to Christine at Almost Fearless' series 30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World. 

This post talks about something called a Travel Diet. And in case you hadn't figured it out by my underwhelming weight loss progress, I kinda hate diets. And suck at them. Trust me, the hating and the sucking at it are directly related.

But apparently Christine just wanted to scare me, because she sums up a Travel Diet like this:
Don’t buy anything, unless it’s worth the travel time it costs.
That idea? That I can work with. I know people say that dieting and personal finance are related, but I for one must have very limited willpower reserves. I can save money better than I can diet, and I can stick to a riding schedule better than I can do either of those. I think this just means that I am better at guilting myself into doing the right thing when there's an animal depending on me. Personal finance ties indirectly into that - the more money I have saved the better off my animals will be if they get sick or injured.

But back to the Travel Diet idea.  The homework for this post is pretty simple, and by necessity I have already started doing most of it.

1. I very rarely make big purchases, and most of my shopping is consumables - I try to avoid "Stuff" using the Simple Dollar philosophy. The big purchases I make are almost always related to my horses, or are a necessary expense (like the new-for-me truck I am going to need in a few years).

2. I routinely try to delay buying something I want, to see if I really don't need it, or if I really want it. Sometimes this is a bad thing (ex: my current work wardrobe), but sometimes this is a good think (I have not yet bought the new Laurell K. Hamillton book in hopes of finding a cheaper used copy).

3. I do not usually do workarounds, unless you count buying something used instead of new as a workaround.  I think that probably counts.

4. The back pack test - don't buy it unless it would be something you would use on the road - seems like a pretty good one for household purchases. I don't think it applies to consumables, but for Stuff, it is definitely appropriate.

It's actually a little sad, but most of these techniques I have already been using because my salary is so low. I'm making probably 15k less than someone who graduated from my law school 2 or 3 years before I did. Kids, don't go to law school.

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