This time last year my bank statement looked rather impressive as far as my savings were concerned. I would not consider myself to be a big spender, especially if there is the promise of travel looming, so the accumulation of funds slowly built and I gave myself a mental pat on the back.
Then one morning last month I looked online and there was barely any money in my account at all! I panicked; had I been robbed, had my card been stolen? A frantic scan of my statements revealed that the only thief of my funds was myself. Without even thinking about it, I had drained away my savings.
The first culprit I noticed was the leeching buys, those small, painless (well, painless at the time) purchases of a coffee here or a cheap fast food snack there; buying everyone a smoothie when we were out shopping; buying a book rather than borrowing it at the library. Impulse buys, hangry buys; all those little purchases added up.
And then, quite uncharacteristically for me were the big purchases of 2017.
Two expensive new lenses sit in my camera case, the accommodation for a family reunion was not cheap; an expensive yet worthwhile splurge of a girls’ weekend to Melbourne for Kara and myself (ie plane tickets, staying at a nice hotel, eating out and seeing a show), not to mention forking out big bucks for that stupid calendar that turned out to be unsellable.
Oh, and Christmas…. Arghhhhh!
So, with a plan to be in the air on Dec 1st, 2018, I find myself saving from scratch. How is this going to happen?
Well, for one thing, never underestimate the zeal of wanderlust. I can already feel the steely focus of money-saving ZEAL beginning to course through my veins, fortifying me against the traps of good coffee, ready- made meals and fun outings trying to seduce the dollars from my wallet. The ZEAL helps!
And actually maybe the fact that the trip is now a short term goal rather than a long term one I will find it easier to save hard. Doing without some of those luxuries, sticker to that bread and water diet essential to a pre-trip budget when the big reward is dangling so tantalizingly close will seem less of a chore; I hope.
I will be getting nothing this year that is not essential. That is the goal. No camera equipment, no teaching resources, no clothes, hair appointments or silly grocery buys. If it does happen, if I do slip, I will do a post of shame. The older kids have their own money so they will be buying their own junk food and fast food (although I will provide the 12 yr old with one fast food meal a fortnight).
The need to save money forces me to put my photography skills out there a little more. I have couple of weddings, an event and some family shoots coming up in the next few weeks and because I have had a few jobs in the past month, I am feeling excited and in the zone. Plus, the ZEAL makes you really brave!
Where is this trip taking us, you ask? Full reveal next post.