Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spending on life experiences

Do you ever feel torn between spending money on life experiences and saving your money? I do, regularly. There are times I have no problem spending on things I enjoy and then other times I do not want to part with the cash.

A huge part of me says life is for living and you’ll regret it if you don’t do these things and the other part is going SAVE FOR THE FUTRUE!!! I don’t want to continue on living and find in another 10 years, these things are still on my “to do list” though.

As you know I have my 50 Challenges some of which cost money. I also have a list of 101 things in 1001 days I want to do. Some of the things overlap and will be done once, even though they are on 2 lists.

I was thinking the other night about how to go about it. How do I allow myself to spend the money? Here’s some of my ideas.

1.) Have a separate section in my budget to allow for the things I want to do, say $10 a week or something.
2.) Set a financial goal once I have reached that, plus the money for whichever thing it is I want to achieve I can do it. E.g. Have $3,000 in an emergency fund, plus save $400 for the bridge climb, so $3,400 total.
3.) Research, research, research. Look around for the best price on something. For example, the bridge climb is $200. On eBay this weekend I saw 2 gift certificates go for $309, they were worth $400 together. I could have saved a significant amount there and I found the listing totally by accident. I had not budgeted to buy it so didn’t get them, and I don’t know when I will be going, but it made me realise if I am patient and research I can get things much cheaper. (This is not the first time I’ve seen bridge climb vouchers on there, I just forgot until now).
4.) Find new ways to cut back to enable me to save more money. For example, the other day I was on eBay and saw some gift vouchers which got me thinking. If I bought the vouchers online for less than their worth (which is what they have been selling for) I would be saving money. It had never occurred to me to look before. Obviously I would only buy ones for store I already shop at e.g. Coles, Woolworths etc...
5.) List more things on eBay and use this money. Ok, I know I usually use this money as part of my challenge, so I am thinking a half and half deal, where half goes to the challenge and half goes to one of my things to do.
6.) Set dates/timeframes for when I want to do things. This gives me an idea of how soon I need $xx. It will get me in the frame of mind that I am saving for that and going to spend my money on that, so I won’t feel guilty and I will actually do it!

I have actually drawn up some little pictures on a piece of paper and divided them into $10 sections, so I can colour them in as I save towards each thing. I find this really motivating for me.
So now, I have a separate little “experiences” fund which I am quite excited about. I am also EXTREMELY excited that I found vouchers for some of the things I want to do for ½ price or even less!! So the amounts I thought I would need for them I won’t!

All up, the things I want to do go into the thousands, but I am starting small. The first ones are the ones that have been on my list the longest
1.) Dance lessons
2.) The Sydney bridge climb
3.) Hot air balloon ride
4.) Surfing lessons
Those 4 alone are over $1,200 for the ones I had planned. BUT with vouchers I have seen and some that I have, it will be WAY less.

Life is for living. I do not want to sit on the sidelines and go, I wish I had done that! So I am going to get out and do it.

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