Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Saving for a Trip Abroad

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. 

The way we think of saving is misleading.  It’s like losing weight, you don’t just lose weight, you eat less or exercise more, but there is no specific action called losing weight.  It’s an expression that describes the end result, not the process.  For saving it’s the same way, it’s not what you do as much as what you don’t do.  Saving is actually inaction, we’re stopping ourselves from spending.
Losing weight is not something I'm very good at. Saving money? I'm better at that. I'm not going to claim that I am an expert, but I have much more success at saving money than I do at losing weight.

This is because saving money is a twice a month proposition, as opposed to an every day decision like losing weight. I transfer money into my savings account the day I get my paycheck. I basically give myself a paycut. I have a separate bank for my savings, so that it takes more than a few clicks to spend it, a tactic that is called using passive barriers. In addition, windfalls are either used to pay off high interest debt or pad my savings account.

I still need to increase what I earn, which is something I need to tackle after I get back from vacation this summer. Asking for a raise a few weeks before leaving for two weeks seems a bit crass.

Unfortunately I have not been as successful in coming up with a reliable weight loss psych out. After work, the daily decision of whether or not I will go to the gym or to the barn is a tough one, and to be honest the barn usually wins out if I do anything other than be a slug on the couch, and I have yet to make both in a single day now that I have to stack them back to back thanks to the time change. This has not improved the tone of my thighs.

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