Category Archives: Frugal Living
Because I didn’t find the time to get my media ID from a prominent blogger who offered us an ID pass, I had no choice but to battle my way down to the street dancers. Starting from the very strong crowd, photography enthusiasts, and down to a group of Caucasians (a foreign TV crew I guess) who dominated the street every time a group of dancers passes by.
At first I was kind of contented just taking photos from afar, but then I thought, I was there to document the event. It’s just unfair not take some close-up photos.
I easily made my way to a group of local photographers but there’s just something in the crowd that made them hesitate to go near towards the main attraction. And it’s no other than this group of foreign TV crew who were also covering the street parade. This group is so domineering. They have all the lenses and have this very “authoritative air” every time they take their position to get a good shot/video each time the dancers stop by to perform.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t find this group a hindrance at all. I used their domineering presence to get some good close-up photos. Every time a new group of dancers stopped by, I immediately positioned myself by their (foreign crew) side. It was a BREEZE!!! (:
Having a foreign TV crew by your side is AWESOME!!!! LOL!
I only took a few photos as the heat of the sun is something that I can’t bear.
All these photos were taken on the 21st of October. That was on Sunday. The 3rd of day of our trip there in Bacolod. More stories of our Bacolod travel in my next blog posts. For more street parade photos, you may visit my Facebook fanpage.
Starting off in a new home isn’t cheap. Apart from the initial cost of deposits and agency or mortgage fees, you’ll have to stump up the funds to kit out your pad. The good news is, there are lots of money-saving tactics that you can employ in order to keep your spending down.
When you’re on the hunt for kitchen appliances and other items, make sure you shop around for both larger white goods and smaller appliances like toasters, kettles and grills. There are lots of deals available online, and by taking a little time and using price comparison sites to review a number of options, you stand a better chance of bagging a bargain.
Also, it can pay off to opt for second-hand products. These can also be found online auction and ad sites, as well as in charity shops and car boot sales. OK, so these items may not last as long or look as pretty as brand new versions, but they can save you a tidy sum. Of course, before you hand over any money for these items, you’ll need to make sure they work properly.
You might even be able to get some items for free. There are a growing number of reuse websites in cyberspace where people advertise products ranging from white goods to sofas that they no longer want. As long as you can pick the objects up, they could be yours for nothing.
Comb the sales
Timing is also key. If you stock up on products for your property during sale seasons, you can benefit from impressive value for money. This may mean being patient for a little while, but if big savings are on offer, it could be worth your while.
Kitting your new house or flat out on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise when it comes to style. Often, it is the inexpensive little extras that help to make living spaces look and feel warm and attractive. Something as simple – and cheap – as adding some new cushions to sofas or placing a fresh bunch of flowers in a vase can bring rooms to life and suddenly make it feel like home.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/4929685747/
DON’T do Helmet Diving if you have ear and heart problems. Also, if you have high blood pressure, you are not allowed to do it as it be very risky.
I apologize if I need to emphasize those serious health risks in this blog post. I was quite unaware of them myself before we arrived in the diving site. My mother who has high blood pressure was out-rightly prohibited when the diving instructors knew her condition. Min0tte, on the other hand, tried to dive but she gave up because she experienced unbearable pain in her ears (caused by the pressure from the tank) when she was hoisted down.
The Fun Part
How Much It Cost?
Helmet Diving is one of least expensive activities in Boracay. We paid Php350.00 per head for 40 minutes. I managed to get a lesser rate by scouting for prizes first. The first agent who I met offered Php450. Note that rates/prizes vary a lot. If you are a foreigner then the prize is 500% higher. Frugal Tip: You can haggle for lesser rate if you are in a group of 10 or more. The more people you are with, the higher chance of getting an affordable rate.
Is it Worth the Cost and Risks?
It’s really worth it but this kind of activity is better done in diving sites with lots of corals and marine sceneries. If you haven’t tried it yet, be warned that the helmet weigh 25 kilos (but this won’t be a problem anymore once you are underwater) . Also, you should know how to equalize your breathing when you are hoisted down. You’ll also experience an initial pain (due to the tank’s pressure) while you are going down to the ocean floor.
I highly recommend this activity to groups as it is more fun feeding fishes together with lots of people around you. It’s actually unfortunate that Mama and MinOtte weren’t able to join us. But, nevertheless, it was really a very memorable and fun experience. (:
Boracay is tagged as the second best beach destination in the world. This is already not new to anyone especially among beach bums and tourists alike. But, for someone like me who grow up in Cebu and had been to its finest beaches, Boracay is not really that super great. I mean come on. When it comes to beaches, Sumilon Island here in Cebu is at par, and don’t forget Camotes, Malapascua, and Bantayan Island – these are just a few of Cebu’s best beach destinations. Also, Panglao Island in Bohol is majestic. The one thing that makes Boracay a wonder on its own is the never-ending-all-year-round activities that makes you want to come back for more. And, honestly, that’s the very reason why I’m planning to go back may be next year.
Exploring Boracay on a Budget at Night
I discovered that the most budget-friendly activity you can do in Boracay is to explore the island by doing a photo-walk during the night.
Compared to the “very” costly day-time activities, exploring at night is very friendly to your pocket. You don’t really need to buy anything. If you’re a first time tourist, taking photos is definitely a very rewarding and enjoyable activity you can do.
While exploring, you can splurge a bit and have a dinner buffet. In our case, I managed to haggle the per head price, from Php285 per head (for 4) down to Php284 per head (for 3+1). Yes, I got the 4th person free of charge. I’m that good in haggling. LOL!
For Php213 per head, we already have a very sumptuous dinner that was composed of poultry meat and sea foods. And take note, the drinks are bottomless. (; Another note: If you are in a “super” tight budget, you can skip the buffet dinner and just head to Andoks, Mang Inasal, Master Siomai, and a lot more cheaper options.
After we had our dinner, we were so full that we decided to stroll around. I found out that there are so many dinner buffet deals ahead of us – the very reason the woman who convinced us to dine in their restaurant tried her best to keep us by giving us a lower rate. Nice strategy!!
Compared to other famous beach destinations here in the Philippines, I can say that Boracay has the liveliest night life.
You will never get hungry because the variety of options is endless. From fresh sea foods, food stalls, fine dining, fast foods, and yes even a grocery store where you can buy canned goods and rice.
While strolling, we found some fun ways to take photos. At the beach side there were a few big photo-shoot studio umbrellas where we got our photos taken.
Farther ahead, we spotted a couple of sand castles. This one in the photo is not the usual fabulous sand castle I usually see but this is already okay. Note: After you take your photos, some kids will ask you for a donation. They are the ones who built the sand castles and they want you to compensate their effort. You have the choice to just ignore them or just give them at least five pesos. In my case, I gave them twenty.
One of the best highlights of our long photo-walk session was the dancing chefs. When we arrived at their dinner buffet area, we noticed a lot of Koreans and other foreigners having a good time taking photos with the restaurant’s chefs. Who doesn’t want to have a picture taken wearing a chef’s cap?
Although September is an off-peak season in Boracay, the clubbing life is so alive I would have tried going in a disco area if my mother was not with us.
And this is how the traffic looks like at 10PM. Tourists had just started to pour in.
While on our way back to our hotel, I was astounded when a policeman caught up with us and tried to check the photos I took with my camera. He asked me if I took photos of “him”.
I was like, really? You Mr. Policeman are overreacting. I told him that I was only taking a photo of the police vehicle as part of my Boracay documentation. In our way back to our hotel, we noticed some disturbances when a few policemen were apprehending a drunken tourist. That’s the time that I noticed a police vehicle and snapped a photo. It never occurred to me that a policeman in a tourist area would reprimand someone taking photos of her surroundings.
He tried to chitchat with us and asked where we come from and told us that he did the inspection for security purposes. I was like, really? They are expecting spies and conspiracies in this bloody island? I wanted to LOL but at a closer look, I did consider his excuse. Well, who knows? This can be a good aspect of the island – security. Still, I really find it friggin’ annoying and unnecessary. If you are a good policeman, you should know how to assess people.
And here, I save the best err the worst for last – in my long and previous online researches about Boracay, I never really seen photos like this one that I took. The results of my online researches all contain beautiful photos of the island – not a hint of the situation that’s being presented in the photo above.
When I passed by this young mother with her children, I can’t helped but realized that in the Philippines, the local/native people are the poorest of the poor. And it becomes very ironic especially in an island as rich as Boracay – a tourist destination that asks for massive terminal fee, and environmental fees at every entrance gate. Spell OVERPRICING and SCAMMERS – will write a detailed article about this in my next blog post.
Have you been to Boracay? Share your experiences, may it be good or bad. Goodnight. (:
Sunset Shot with Dude at Pitogo Island
At the end of October, Dude and I, along with Minette, will be moving to Pitogo Island. We will be basing there temporarily or for good (there’s no final plan yet). We’ve been planning for this move since early this year. Dude will be quitting from his office job this October for various reasons but one of them is to have a flexible schedule to travel with me. One of the reasons of our limited travel trips is his work schedule. Also, we feel that Toledo City is a hostile place to live in. It would be a relief to get away from this city. (Will try my best to write a separate post detailing about our misadventures here.)
Pitogo Island in front of me
In all honesty, I’m actually hesitant about the prospect of living there (though I fell in love with its scenery and the beauty of the surrounding islets), but this move also has to do with our financial stability. We feel that we can have more savings living in an island compared to living in a sub-urban area. Also, we have the peace of mind going to trips and travels knowing that our valuables are in a safe place.
My Travel Schedule for the last quarter of 2013
I write about our moving plan to give a detailed picture on how hectic our schedule would be a few months from now. Thus between our preparations to move and settle down in an island (this time), we’ll also be inserting in our schedule the remaining travel plans we have for the rest of 2013.
September 6 to 9 – Boracay
Screenshot photo from Boracay Live Cam – August 15, 2013 – That’s White Beach!
Definitely my first time going there!!! I’m sooo bloody excited that I booked our flight and hotel last June. We’ll go there during those dates to celebrate my mother’s birthday. Mama will be turning 48 this September and it’s really my long-time plan to bring her to a relaxing vacation because she’s so overworked “nannying” her grand kids plus all the “bone-breaking” work at home. I really can’t imagine my mother’s hard-work all these years. I intend to bring papa as well but he refused because there’s no one around to check on my younger sister and her kids (her husband is currently away due to work).
Frugal Tips in Booking a Flight to Boracay - I booked two one-way flights. Booking a round-trip flight would cost you more especially if your flight destination is to Bora. Luckily, I managed to grab four seats that were on sale. The base fare is Php399 (per head). (: In our flight back to Cebu, I booked the Kalibo to Cebu flight to avoid the very costly Caticlan to Cebu fare. Take note that the Kalibo to Cebu fare is not on sale but it only costs Php588 (excluding all kinds of taxes and fees that would make your head spin).
October 18 to 20 – Bacolod
We’ve been planning to go to Bacolod because it’s just a ferry away from Toledo City. Fortunately, a friend will also go there during the Masskara Festival. That friend told me that she knows a very affordable inn there with high speed Wi-Fi. Soulmate, a close friend of mine, will also come along with us. Pretty much excited for this. (:
Frugal Tips in Going to Bacolod – If you are base near Toledo City, the best frugal way to go there is via ferry. The fare is only Php200 plus. If you are from Cebu City, you have the option to travel by ocean jet or via airplane. Go for airplane if there’s a seat sale but the ocean jets are advisable if you’re on budget.
December 2 to 6 – Singapore
This is a big year-ender for our 2013 travels. I just got my passport earlier this month (after almost a year of processing!!). I’ve chosen those dates because December 5 will be dude’s (my partner) birthday. We’ve been planning for years to travel abroad together and 2013 is our lucky year. I feel so lucky (again) because I managed to book a one-way flight (Cebu – SG) when Cebu Pacific had a promo. The base fare is Php1, 499. Usually the base fare (if there’s no promo) is around Php4,000 plus. I booked a separate flight for SG – Cebu and got a promo fare but it’s quite expensive compared to the latter since it’s priced in Singaporean dollars. The total cost of the flight including all the taxes and add-on fees (back and forth) is Php7, 700 plus per head. That’s Php4,000 plus cheaper compared to regular airfare and a round-trip flight.
Frugal Trips in Booking a Flight to Singapore – Never book a round-trip flight unless the airline company announced that they have a round-trip promo which very rarely happens. Book two separate one-way flights to avoid paying more.
Praying and hoping for good weather during these scheduled trips. I’m so happy that I’m slowly realizing my dreams to travel this year. I’m looking forward for more trips next year. Thank you, Lord for all the blessings. (:
Dude and I often look for affordable Japanese restaurants and we were amazed at what we found when we visited MOA a few weeks ago. This Japanese resto is actually located beside J.CO store, the doughnut shop that I was talking in my previous post. Look at how bloody affordable their menu is.
Their prices are around 20% lower compared to Tokyo Joe’s (another Japanese resto where dude and I go to here in Cebu). I was really in the mood to eat a lot when we were on our way. But, my friggin’ migraine has stolen my appetite the moment we entered the store. ): Nevertheless, I really enjoyed their California Maki and their Beef Yakiniku.
California Maki is my all-time favorite Japanese dish. My Japanese meal is not complete without it. This set is priced at P59.00. Super cheap!! (:
Each Bento is comprised of a soup, an appetizer, the main dish, rice, and a dessert. Their Bentos are priced from P159.00 to P179.00. Really affordable compared to other Japanese restaurants I’ve been to.
We’ll definitely go back to this resto in our next trip to Manila. (:
In my recent travels, I found a few mobile apps that are very useful when I look for special deals and promos (to lessen my expenses). Using these apps doesn’t guarantee that you can immediately get cheaper deals, but if you know how to use them (and if you are a wise user), you can definitely get a great bargain. The following are my top 5 apps ideal for budget traveling.
Kayak is a travel search engine that lets you search for flights (across all available airlines), hotels, cars, and a lot more. In my case, I use it to look for the cheapest airline promos and deals. Unlike other travel search engines, Kayak lets the users filter search results from the cheapest to the most expensive deals. To get cheaper deals, make sure to book on weekdays and book a month or a few months before your travel date.
Definitely the most useful app I’ve been using for quite some time now. Agoda allows its users to search for hotels all over the globe. Just like Kayak, it has a filter functionality that allows users to view the results of their searches from the cheapest to the most expensive hotel deals. If you are a registered user, you can get some special deals and they also offer reward points in every hotel that you’ve checked in. Those points are convertible to cash which you can use to pay for your next check-in.
This app automatically grabs every booking details in your email and organizes them in chronological order. Tripit is very useful for people who have no time to plot their travel schedules. It helps you save time and puts your mind at ease knowing that you can check all your travel details in one place, well-organized and updated.
4. Google Earth
Instead of a map, I prefer to use this app in checking for places and locations I wanted to go to. Aside from the very detailed satellite and aerial views, it also helps me in getting street details that are very important when I’m commuting (especially when I’m riding in a taxi). Most taxi drivers would intentionally change your route so that they can charge higher fare. This is very useful if you are traveling to a specific place for the very first time.
This is the only app in this list that I haven’t used yet. Though I’ve already did some mock bookings, I haven’t decided yet if I’m gonna use this in the future. I feature this here because it has been reviewed in a few famous budget travel sites (and the feedback is mostly positive). AirBnB absolutely has the cheapest accommodation listings ever. Unlike Agoda, its listings are not focused on hotels but accommodations from AirBnB hosts. These hosts are ordinary people or fellow travelers who are accepting guests in their empty houses, apartments, rooms, or even bed spaces. The accommodation set-up is done between the guest and the host. Though it is very tempting, my cautious self is a bit hesitant due to the fact that a stay in a place with a complete stranger is very risky. But, I’m not closing my door on this.
Have you used any of the apps featured in this post? Do you use mobile apps to lessen the hassles and expenses while you travel? Share your experiences and tips below. (:
Our trip to Manila was greeted by boisterous thunders and a crying sky, begging us to stay in our hotel and postpone any plan we have to get out and have fun. Despite this inconvenience, we decided to go out because our time was very limited. Instead of going to Intramuros, we decided to spend the whole day in MOA – the 3rd largest mall in the world.
The very first thing that I searched inside the mall is the J.CO store (this doughnut store is not available in Cebu). After Krispy Kreme had opened two stores here in Cebu, J.CO somehow stole the doughnut rave fever. I am quite curious if it lives up to its reputation.
While searching for the J.CO store, we passed by the mall’s basketball court and guess who I saw? The big guy with the big hair.
I’m not a fanatic but I was so surprised that I spotted (well, MinOtte spotted him first) Eruption at the basketball court. He’s not famous but he’s the guy I have a secret crush on from Showtime. LOL. (: Anyway, here are a few snapshots of the basketball court inside MOA.
That’s Chiel, a close friend who waited for us for almost 4 hours at NAIA because our flight got delayed. ):
That’s MinOtte. (:
I’m currently packing while dude is catching up with work and min0tte already soundly asleep. I’m writing now via my tab because I’m not comfortable using dude’s laptop.
Our flight schedule tomorrow is around 1pm and I’m intently praying that the weather would be good. Rain is not travel-friendly.
First time together in Manila
This trip would be quite memorable because it will be our first time to travel together as a group there. My last trip there was way back 2009 and dude’s was on 2010. For this time, it would be purely travel and a bit of leisure.
Tagaytay trip cancelled
Due to time constraints, we are postponing our Tagaytay trip. I am setting up another sched to travel there so that we can stay at the spot longer. May be after we moved to dude’s hometown.
I drafted one but I’m sure it won’t be used. It’s more exciting not to plan. (;
Location independent lifestyles have received a great deal of press in recent years, and it’s easy to see why they’re such an attractive prospect for many. Instead of tying yourself down to a mortgage and a traditional job, you too could roam the world, settling only where you like, for as long as you like.
If you’re on a budget and want to see the world, it’s a brilliant option. Here’s why.
Longer-term accommodation is often cheaper
When you’re booking accommodation as a holidaymaker, you often end up spending a lot more than what is really necessary. When you’re free to stay in your destination for a little longer though, you could pick up some fabulous deals. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to book some accommodation for a week or so when you first arrive, then get out in the local area to work out where exactly you want to stay and what’s available.
Immersing yourself in a culture is more rewarding than just taking a holiday
Antigua holidays, for example, can be very exciting and rewarding, but can you imagine how much more you would learn if you were able to live like a local for a few months or more? When you embark on a location independent lifestyle, this is very possible. With nothing to hold you down and no long-term financial ties, you can choose to stay for as long as you like.
Technology is making the world a smaller place
Being away from home doesn’t have to mean losing touch with your nearest and dearest. Wireless internet access is now readily available across the globe, and will often be free or very inexpensive. You could Skype your loved ones every day without ever having to spend a penny!
You can work on the road
With advances in the internet, running your own business on the road is becoming more and more achievable. Whether you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, web developer, affiliate marketer, or just about anything else, there could be a way to make it work from anywhere in the world. This means that you’re no longer tied to traditional traveling jobs, such as bar work or fruit picking.
You can live a minimalist lifestyle
Having lots of ‘stuff’ doesn’t make people happy. In many cases, it just holds you back and gives you more things to worry about. When you’re living a location independent lifestyle, you’re forced into traveling light and only packing the things that you really need. Not only can this be very liberating, but it’s much cheaper! Spending your cash on experiences rather than material objects is regarded as being one of the happiest ways to live.
As you can see, you don’t need a huge budget to live a location independent lifestyle. With some careful planning and preparation, it’s a way of living that’s available to all.
Have you ever thought about trading your usual routine for a life on the road? What’s holding you back?
Moving can be a costly endeavor, even if you try to do most of the moving yourself. After all, there are so many details to be tended to, many of which cost something. For instance, the process of turning off utilities at the old place usually incurs a fee, as does turning on utilities at the new one. With this in mind, it helps to know what while there are some financial aspects of moving that just can’t be helped (you need lights, right?!), there are some other ways you can mitigate the cost of moving so that it doesn’t break the bank (not even your personal piggy bank). Consider some tips to take you in the right direction:
Yes, it would save a ton of time to have a moving company come and pack for you, but they often add on this service for an arm and a leg. Avoid this by having over a few close family members and friends for a packing party. For the prices of a few pizzas and a bottle or two of wine, you can solicit some help to get your stuff into boxes without paying the high cost for a moving company to do it. However, if you are going to use one longdistancemovingcompanies.co is a cheap mover.
Move at an off-peak time of year
Peak moving season is during the summer, when many people try to relocate without the hassle of school and during work vacations. Avoid this by moving in the middle of the year. Rates to move may be much lower at this point of the year.
Transport your vehicle
This applies for those who own cars or any types of vehicles. This may seem like an unnecessary cost, but sometimes, time is money and there are many other things that you can do to get your move running more efficiency than driving your vehicle to the new destination. Instead, this is one area where you can get a great deal and take this off of your to-do list. Ask about a first-time transport discount if this is your first time transporting a vehicle; many companies will give you a break, even if they don’t have an existing program. Moreover, you can often get a great deal on packaging auto transport with other moving services to avoid paying too much more out of pocket for your vehicle to be moved. Contact a1autotransport.com for all your car shipping needs.
Do the house prep yourself
Oftentimes, when moving into a new place, the landlord or former owners will go to great lengths to have it cleaned for you. However, this often comes at a cost. Instead, opt to do a lot of the work yourself. Forgo the added charge to cut the lawn, clean the cupboards and replace the floor-mats and take the do-it-yourself approach. Have the local neighbor’s kid clean the front-yard and backyard for a fraction of the cost and clean the house from top to bottom, room by room when you move in. You may be surprised by how these small cuts to your moving budget can save you money significantly when you move into a new home.
With all the advances in telecommunications today, people can easily and efficiently accomplish important work even while going on a holiday. For instance, people can now have important client meetings via video conference while waiting for their flight, or answer urgent emails on their smartphones while on the train or bus.
Indeed, working while traveling has never been so much easier than it is today. However, merely working and efficiently getting things done are two different things. After all, what clients appreciate more than anything else are tangible results. To accomplish this, you might want to take a look at the following pointers.
1. A schedule
One of the most important things you need for any serious activity is a schedule. This way, there will be fewer chances for you to forget important things, and you get to account for every minute of every day.
2. Offline documents
You need to make sure that you have documents to work with even if you don’t have an internet connection. For many business people, the lack of an internet connection will not be sufficient excuse for missing important deadlines.
3. List of priorities
Just because you may be in a new place doesn’t mean sightseeing takes precedence over everything else. Yes, the phrase “you only live once” might be quite a persuasive argument, but that reason may not suffice with your clients. If you have some important tasks you need to finish for work, prioritize those. After all, most tourist spots are pretty stationary. They will probably still be there the next day or next year; your clients might not be.
4. Regular work hours
Set designated hours for work every day. This way, you’re sure to accomplish something each day, even while you’re on the move.
5. Appropriate breaks
Pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion will not help you accomplish all your tasks. On the contrary, it might only cause you more delays. So don’t forget to set aside some time to unwind once in a while, whether through shopping for souvenirs or indulging in the local cuisine.
6. A bit of research
Research beforehand about the places you will be visiting. Find suitable places where you can work. A local café, a virtual office or a commercial space for rent that you can have for the duration of your stay would be quite helpful.
7. The right gadgets
The existence of a technology will be quite pointless unless you can use it. So make sure to bring the proper electronics you might need to work while traveling—and don’t forget to bring power chords or extra batteries.
8. Enough sleep
Aside from taking breaks, you also need enough sleep to efficiently function throughout the day, especially if you’re travelling. So don’t forget to get sufficient rest every night after a day of being hard at work.
9. Nutritious food
Being constantly on the move, it might be a little hard to find time for every important task you need to accomplish daily. Nonetheless, you need to find time to eat regular meals because they will give you the nourishment and energy you need to accomplish your tasks and function throughout the day.
10. The right mindset
Task lists and the right gadgets would be quite pointless unless you are mentally ready to work. So, be sure to properly psych yourself into “work mode” during work hours, even if you felt like going sightseeing instead.
Having a “location independent” lifestyle doesn’t just come with great advantages, but also with certain responsibilities. Thus, be mindful of your obligations so you don’t lose the very thing that affords you the benefits you’re enjoying now.
It’s been almost a year now that I am readying myself to embark into a radical life-long journey that would change my life forever. If not because of my partner’s 8-5 job, we may have already been whisked to our dream destinations – a distant reality in the past with no possibility to attain. At least that reality is not that far now. (:
When I thought of traveling before, I often scolded myself not to think about it because it’s way too expensive and my 8-5 job salary is not enough to support frequent travel expenses. However, these days I allowed myself to dream and I’m determined to make it make it happen.
Poor People CAN also Travel
Despite the common knowledge that frequent traveling is only for the rich and wealthy, I’m gonna prove to myself that it’s not entirely true. The internet era and the increase of competition in the airline industry has given people from all walks of life an equal access to vast opportunities that can only be attained by a limited few before. Budget travel became a niche and more people now are exploring the beauty of the world with a mere budget. Sounds impossible to happen but quite attainable if you have the passion, guts, and of course a steady income that would support your excursion expenses. The question here is, how can you travel without sacrificing your source of income?
Location Independence – the Key to Budget Travel
The darkest part of my working life happened more than 2 years ago. It was the time when I decided to quit my full-time office job to preserve my PRIDE. Fast forward now, I can’t help but thank that person (who made a fool out of herself) for pushing me out from that rat hole of a place unto a world full of limitless opportunities and possibilities. My gratefulness is really immeasurable! Thank you so much! Your are my f*cking Angel. LOL!
For more than a year now I discovered a world so different and more rewarding compared to the 8-5 office cubicle job most of my peers are aiming at. For the very first time in more than 6 years, I can sincerely tell myself that I’m happy and contented with what I am doing. I can’t thank enough the Lord above for the blessings that he showered me and also for surrounding me with people who are very supportive and who have loved me unconditionally.
Enough of my personal drama and now’s for the main part, Location Independence. If this is the very first time that you’ve heard of this phrase, then check here for a more elaborate meaning. As the term suggested, it is a working lifestyle that doesn’t depend on your location. As long as you are connected to the internet then you can work anywhere you want and whenever you feel like working. That’s my work’s set-up for over a year now and I’m enjoying it immensely. I can’t believe the luck I got and how blessed I am to have this kind of job. And though, I didn’t become rich because of this, I’m proud that I’m earning more than I’ve earned before.
At the present, even though my work is not location dependent, I still have to pause my travel plans to wait for Dude (my partner). Dude still needs to resign from his job so that we can travel together. I’m also waiting for the end of the lock-in contract from our internet service provider. It will end 3 months from now and I can’t wait any longer. I’m so bloody excited!
Here are my top 5 reasons why Location Independence allows you to travel for cheap.
1. You can stay longer - Most travel vacations are bloody expensive because it would normally take a week or 3 days, the shortest. You need to go back home because you need to work, thus the fun is short-lived but it cost you dearly. Traveling while working, on the other hand, lessens the cost as you can stay in that particular location longer, thus you don’t need to go home right away. Instead of staying at expensive hotels you can stay in budget apartelles or pension house.
2. More flexible travel schedule - Because you can work anywhere, it is easier for you to change your travel sched depending on the airline promos or sales. You can also create your own itinerary by choosing routes that offer cheaper air or travel fare. This way you won’t be burdened with expensive airfare especially if you are traveling abroad.
3. No need to return home for the sake of your job - Have you experienced that heavy feeling every time a travel vacation ends and you have no other choice but to return home? It actually spoils the experience and it would cost you another long weeks or months of hard work before you can escape that boredom again. Time is a luxury and that’s the very jewel our 8 to 5 jobs are stealing away from us. That’s bloody expensive!
In conclusion, my short introduction about location independence may sound really easy to most of you but I tell you, it’s not that easy. It’s actually very hard and the challenging part is, it comes with big risks. But where’s the fun if it’s just a piece of cake?
How about you? Do you dream of traveling for good? Any tips on how to travel for cheap? Your comments are greatly appreciated. (:
The list of expenses that demand us to hand out more and more of our hard earned cash seems to grow longer by the day. As if not inconvenient enough, times remain tough for many of us when it comes to finance. Couple that with the recent research suggesting that the key to happiness is saving a little money each month and this means we really could all benefit from being able to cut back when we hit the stores.
- Have a list: Whether you are intending to buy one item or a week’s worth of groceries, writing down exactly what you need and sticking stoically to this list will save you from parting with extra money.
- Have a budget: When the time comes to buy an expensive item, such as a car or electrical appliance, work out your maximum budget and only shop within that range.
- Ignore unnecessary offers: Sure, something may be on sale at 20% off but does that mean you need it? It may be cheaper than before but you would still be paying out money that you could have otherwise saved.
- Avoid bulk buying: Buying items in bulk and storing them is often recommended to save money. While it works for some items, for others they will simply deteriorate in quality or expire, rendering them useless and wasting your money.
- Make friends: Being friendly with the locals really can save you some cash when it comes to getting services. Be it plumbers, decorators, builders or hairdressers; mates rates can come in very handy in times of need.
- Shop at night: If you head to the supermarket or grocery store at night you can uncover some great bargains. Items that are sold fresh, such as bread, milk and eggs will often be reduced in price.
- Book in advance: Paying for travel is never cheap but the earlier you book plane or train tickets, the cheaper you will get them.
- Be wary of finance deals: Opting for a finance agreement (read more here), where you pay for an item in installments, may seem like a good way of avoiding a hefty lump sum but you will be committed to a lengthy contract and are required to pay interest, meaning you pay more overall.
- Compare prices: Whether online or by visiting a number of different stores, looking around and comparing rival prices is often the most reliable way to find the best deal.
- Shop alone: Having others around you when you shop can be distracting. Often they will talk you into buying extra items you did not need and so going alone and sticking to your list is often your best bet.
- Haggle: You will never know if a seller might reduce the price unless you ask. Even with existing contracts such as phone or internet providers, you can contact them and threaten to take your custom elsewhere unless the price is reduced; ultimately they would rather get some money from you than nothing.
- Cheaper isn’t always better: Opting for the cheapest option might save you the most money initially but poor quality goods will not last, meaning they will regularly need replaced. Avoid designer brands but maintain decent quality.
Each of the above measures may not seem enough to make a big difference to your finances by itself but combined together; these simple, easily implemented tasks can be a powerful combination, becoming a habit and saving you money before you even know it. In this day and age, a frugal life is often the best life.
In these tough economic times, many people are starting to feel the pinch. Getting out and seeing friends is an important part of your social life though, and it can be difficult to think of exciting things to do when you’re on a budget.
Here, we take a look at five ways to enjoy time with friends without breaking the bank.
Host a dinner party
Going out for dinner can be expensive, though it’s something that so many people enjoy. After all, what could be better than sharing good food with good friends? While restaurant bills can add up to hundreds if you aren’t careful, hosting your own dinner party can be remarkably cheap. Buy your ingredients from the local market, and consider asking friends to bring along dessert and drinks. You might want to invest in a few pieces to make the occasion special, such as high quality champagne flutes, which you’ll be able to use again and again.
Look out for discounts and coupons for events
The internet is a great resource when it comes to finding discounts. Sign up to daily offer sites, or just keep checking back with your favourite businesses. With lots of competition out there, they want to keep your interest and get you through the doors! You can also get money off vouchers when you’re signed up to certain mobile phone networks. From restaurants to bowling, there’s something out there for everyone.
Make use of happy hour
Sometimes, saving money is all about picking the best times! A few rounds of drinks in your favourite bar could cost less than half of the usual price if you go during happy hour. This isn’t just the case for pubs, either. Many restaurants and cinemas offer special deals for those who visit outside of peak times. Find out what’s available at your usual haunts. Why pay more for exactly the same?
Try new things
Most people fall into the habit of doing the same old things weekend after weekend. But if you’re willing to try something new, you could be amazed at how much cash you’ll save while having a great time. Activities such as walking, for example, offer a fun way to get fit without spending a penny. When you get your friends involved, it could be an interesting day out. Pack a picnic and take along a map, just in case! Similarly, many councils offer free taster activities, covering everything from exercise to pottery.
If you’re struggling for ideas for your next social gathering, why not give one of these a go? You have nothing to lose, and you could discover an exciting new hobby or interest.
This article was brought to you by Ruth Jones on behalf of Gurasu. Gurasu specialises in fine crystal products for the more discerning customer, with ranges that include crystal vases, glass tumblers and much more.