A lot of people always ask me how I manage to come up with the moolah for my trips abroad and the answer is simple and obvious: I SAVE. Of course, it helps that I'm able to find promo flights and budget accommodations, but travel does incur some expenses so setting aside money is the only way to do it since I'm not a bajillionaire. The best way to save is to simplify your lifestyle. I'll admit I'm still struggling with this as it gets tempting to up the ante sometimes. But this is something I learned early on from my parents-- that no matter how successful you become, your lifestyle shouldn't change. Find a comfortable and fulfilling spot in your life and stick to it. I call it the HAPPY ZONE. It's the best position wherein you're able to enjoy a few luxuries here and there but still understand that you have to scrimp on the daily things. If you get a promotion, a big bonus, or even if you win the lottery..be thankful for these blessings but stay within that HAPPY ZONE. :) Treat yourself to a new gadget, go ahead and buy that designer bag you've been dreaming of, order the most expensive dish in the menu..if you've been working hard, you also need to learn how to give yourself a reward. But if you reach a point wherein you're just working to buy a gadget, working to buy a designer bag, or working to be able to eat out in classy restaurants every night..then that my friend, can be quite problematic. Work because you love it, Work because you want to contribute something positive to society, Work because you want to provide for your family....but don't work simply because you want to accumulate MORE STUFF.
I'm lucky that I'm marrying someone who's very down to earth and sensible, Patrick is very frugal and that's actually one of the traits that I love most about him. Our wedding planning has been very easy breezy so far because we're so much alike in our spending that it's easy for us to narrow down our options. We invest on high quality items/services but we scrimp on things we know we can do on our own or find cheaper substitutes for. He knows how to keep things simple but he also knows when and how to splurge :) Nakakainis din naman yung sobrang kuripot at KJ sa buhay diba?! Yung tipong "Ano ba yan, ang mahal naman! Ayoko na dito!" (To which I'd probably reply: "Eto, magtubig ka nalang..it's on ME") or "Hoy may utang ka sa kin ng 3 piso!" (I'll say "Eto limang piso pero wag mo na akong kakausapin EVER!") HAHAHA! Ugghh, those people can be quite annoying. It's good to have a healthy balance.
For couples, the simplest way to adjust your lifestyle is by adjusting your dates. If you are out clubbing 3 nights a week, eating in fancy restaurants every other night, having coffee at the designer cafe every day..chances are you'll go broke. So what Patrick and I do is we reserve those nights out for friends and special occasions only..but if it's just for the two of us, we choose to keep our dates really simple. We'll stay in and have a romantic DVD marathon date, walang kagastos-gastos (Chippy at Coke lang ang puhunan namin) pero umaapaw naman sa lambingan moments where we could hug it out all night long! Naks!!! Here are other ideas that cost little but make for awesome memories! Most of you have done this already, it's just a matter of making it more creative and romantic but on a budget :)
Go on a Food Court Challenge
Have a Lazer Tag Fight
Drive up to Tagaytay for a Romantic Brunch Date
Visit your local neighborhood massage parlor
(the wholesome kind of course!)
Go marketing together on a lazy Saturday morning