Monday, January 12, 2015

Mimi's Savings Secrets....

 
The bridge in Monet's garden at Giverny. My own photo, taken in 2008, when I fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting the picturesque little village where he lived.
 
We try to have a big overseas trip every two or three years. We prefer to travel comfortably and stay in nice hotels or houses. Not for us the cheap airfares, economy hotels, and bus tours with 50 other people.
 
Suffice to say, that we don't go cheap.
 
We don't consider ourselves part of the 'moneyed set', though, and these trips mean sacrifices in other areas.
 
We are off on such a trip this year, so I thought I'd use this year on my blog, to document how we can afford to fly comfy class, stay in a five star hotel in London, cruise the Mediterranean in luxury, have a relaxing stopover in Singapore on the way home, and arrive back refreshed and with not a whit of guilt, and without battering the credit card.
 
I find it highly amusing that friends and family in much less stable financial situations than our own, find it embarrassing to talk about saving money. Gosh kids. If we hadn't saved, we wouldn't be where we are today. Where's the shame in trimming a little here, to allow greater expenditure there, where you really want it?
 
They insist on upgrading their car every second year, buying their kids designer clothes (seriously? What baby of two or even ten year old cares whether their rompers are Ralph Lauren or Target??), eating out regularly and entertaining lavishly.
 
And NOBODY is game to be the one that says 'but what if we just entertain at home or make our own sushi or buy the kids clothes from the clearance rack at Target for next year' (when everything is marked down to three bucks and is the same stuff that was $30 a couple of days ago). Nobody needs to know but you, so where's the shame in it? When did the idea of home made, marked down, heavily discounted for today, or even *gasp* thrifted (the celebs call it vintage dahhlings...) or handed down from a friend, become icky, and why?
 
And really, no matter how much we earn, it's still a FINITE amount kiddos. Everyone's income is limited. Even if you're earning gazillions, it comes to an end sometime. If you keep spending, all you'll have in five years is a lot of stuff, and an empty bank account. Why do you think all these ageing rock stars suddenly pop up doing a revival tour when they're all old enough to be my grandfather? It's cause they too have a bank manager breathing down their turkey like, scrawny necks. It's just undignified, I tell you. Some interesting reading on this topic here.
 
My husband and I decided long ago that we'd rather drive our cars for ten years before upgrading, that we'd prefer to DIY our garden and home even if it took longer and meant living amongst sawdust indoors while we sawed and painted our way to perfection, and dust outdoors while our garden, lovingly landscaped over six long years, took hold. It was a sacrifice we were prepared to make to then be able to afford those trips and have a few other little luxuries. And when I say 'luxuries', I mean a plan for our future, for our kids future and even a bit for the grandkids for their future.
 
I've had my own children tell me that our ideas are old fashioned. Well that may be so. But all I see is that things don't change that much. You can't live like a rock star or royalty at 30 and expect to be able to continue doing so when you're 60. I know because we're nearly there, and even we have made our mistakes. We could have invested differently, hung on a bit longer there, declared defeat there, and been better off, sure. But overall, we're okay. And not through upgrading our cars, technology, shoes and bags every five minutes. Rather through sacrifice and prioritising.
 
Now I can't tell you how to trim your budget to be able to afford your luxuries, but I can tell you how we did it, and how we continue to do it even now as we edge very close to retirement.
 
Lesson no. 1 coming tomorrow...
 
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14 comments:

  1. Well said Mimi!

    Will check in with you tomorrow, I can always use some saving tips :)

    xTania

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    1. Thanks Tania! So pleased this subject strikes a chord with you :)

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  2. A great post, Mimi. We have always lived frugally so it is second nature. I think that living that way is becoming more popular which is great.

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    1. Hi Nanna Chel. Yes, you've got a point. I think there is to some extent, a bit of a frugality revolution out there. It's just not 'polite conversation' yet!

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  3. Ooh! An overseas trip, how exciting! I look forward to your tips x Fiona

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    1. Hi Fiona. Yes we're very excited. And a cruise no less. I always said cruises were just not my thing, but I guess it's a thing you have to try once....right?

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    2. I went on a cruise (by myself) as a silly young thing. Best holiday ever! And that's not because I was young and silly getting up to mischief. I met great people, I saw great sights, and I didn't have to worry about finding new accommodation each stop, or anything like that :)

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    3. Oh, and I am the same person (Fiona)!!

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  4. Loved the aging rock star comment...hysterical and VERY true! We are major thrift store shoppers and pretty much never pay full price for anything. As I type this, my husband is installing flooring in our bedroom!
    Thank you...Marybeth





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    1. It IS true Marybeth, I swear. Why, at the age of 70, would some of these guys suddenly up stumps and drag themselves half way across the world to belt out a few old ditties. Well....they don't know how to do anything else do they. And those child brides must spend their money like water!

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  5. So agree with you Mimi! Ive found some super bargains in babies and children's clothing, and wrapped nicely makes it special as you well know .Im no cruiser e\either but will wait with bated breath to see what you report back hehe love Maria xx

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    1. We're a little nervous on the cruise. Especially after watching Titanic the other night! But I'm sure we'll come back converted :)

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    2. I watched the Poseidon Adventure shortly before going on my cruise, then there was the Newcastle earthquake a day or two before I left...didn't fill me with confidence! Fiona x

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  6. Lovely post and I have to say, you subscribe to the same theories and sentiments as me. It's amazing how much we can do when we are sensible with what we have. I have done so much more than others because I hold the same beliefs as you. Well done. And look forward to hearing about the cruise.

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx