I don't know how this works, but when I travel I'm so good at living on the cheap side of life. Usually I work 3 months and travel the rest of the year like a happy gypsy woman. I would live in a car and take baths in rivers but that's all mighty fine. Now, for the first time in a year, I received a paycheck. I'm doing the city woman thing, working Monday to Friday, owning a public transit pass, paying rent, cooking dinner. All with the intention of saving up for future travels. That's where the mysterious phenomenon appears. I earn money, I stare at it, I get a bit sweaty, and suddenly it's gone.
I blame the weekend for working its magic on my wallet: bibbedi bobbdi boo and empty is my pocket! I thought the structured city life would make me morph into a person who pays her bills early and finds a good balance between work and play.
I'm good five days a week, but when Friday comes around, I go all out. I notice between Friday and Monday most of my thoughts start with: I work night shifts, I deserve to get a massage/ go out for brunch + dinner + midnight snacks/ buy flowers/ treat myself to beautiful expensive books/ grab a million coffees a day to keep my eyes open and my brain function. And this, my friend, is how I stay true to my broke self. I strongly believe money needs to be rolling. It doesn't mean buying material things to fill up your home and head. I'm talking about experiences, gifts, making someone's day.
I'm all for supporting local makers. Even as the broke woman I am, I will always choose to spend the extra 3 bucks on fresh farmer's market produce instead of spending a dollar in a big supermarket chain. Mc Donalds will never see a penny of my pay. I prefer to have less money but know I'm supporting a local's dream venture instead of spending cash on gazillionaires who couldn't care less about your hard earned dollar.
My motto is 'live and let live', so I will never point fingers or tell people what (not) to do, but I do like planting seeds in people's brains. While travelling through Australia, I lived on minute noodles for months, thinking it's the only option to survive as a poor backpacker. Treating your body like shit is not the way. I'm currently gathering and writing down tips and tricks from fellow world travellers on how to live cheap and stay cheerful. All you've got to do, is be creative. Watch this space, I will tell you more about this new project soon!
The funny thing is, while being on the road, I can see the possibilities of a life less money centered. But as soon as I move to a city, the dollars vanish and worries arise. Building a life around a job asks for dedication and spending half your paycheck on things you actually need in order to keep your job. Like rent, a car or public transit pass, work outfit, maybe a gym membership, and in my case: bottomless cups of coffee to keep going. And then the weekend comes around and you want to treat yourself after a long week of hard work. So you spend the other half of you pay. And that's how you transform yourself from broke traveller to broke city woman.