It’s no surprise that Italy is freaking expensive. And spending 2 weeks in the wine country, touring approximately 7 cities, is no walk in the park for us… or our wallets. We had to consider accommodation, travel [not just the flights but the car rentals, train stations, cab rides, etc], food and drinks, and excursions. It definitely adds up. So last night we got out our calculators, made an expense report on excel and got to work. I love planning trips; seriously, making itineraries is one of my favorite things to do but when it comes to getting analytical with numbers and costs, I don’t enjoy that one bit. I’m a left brain dominant person, and Kevin is right brain dominant so this particular activity was more up his alley than mine- but I did my part in keeping the wine flowing as we [he] went over things.
It really went over quite smoothly. Since I’m the planner, I had already planned out the train station stops, car rentals, accommodations, and excursions, so all the was left was minor considerations like food and cab rides, although not always entirely accurate. Nonetheless, this trip [still quite a ways away] is going to cost us a pretty penny. So saving is a must.
Now this is an area within the “adulting” realm I’ve never been very good at. I think, like many shopaholics out there, online shopping – or shopping in general – has always hindered my ability to save. Well this trip kind of relates to that saying where, “if you want something bad enough you’ll find a way.” I want to be able to dine, explore, and just really live life to the fullest without having a single worry while I’m there. I don’t want to have to say “no” to that wine bottle or turn down a fun boat day. This trip outweighs my desire to shop… and that’s step numero uno: Want something more than your impulsive habits.
One thing I love about Kevin is how remarkable he is at saving. Seriously, the man is a genius. I love that we will never have to worry about finance issues because he is so smart with it- he knows when to invest, what to splurge on vs what not to, where and when to spend and what’s not worth it. We’ll skip a fancy dinner or night out and keep that money for future use.
When it really comes down to it, there is nothing glamorous about saving, no best kept secrets that elude common sense, no tips and money saving tricks that you haven’t already heard [yes, we know traveling on off-season is best]. But I’m about to tell you the number one life hack for saving. The best way to save money on a tight budget. The most effective strategy for traveling. Are you ready?
Boom. That’s it. Did I just change your life or what? Just kidding. But seriously, self control is the answer to [almost] all of life’s little problems. Saying you can’t wake up that early? Self control. You are addicted to caffeine? Self control. Caved and poured yourself a glass of wine 6 days before your 30 days sober challenge? [That’s me talking to myself] Self control. Saving money all comes down to your self control. Now my self control isn’t all that great but when I want something, like really, really want something, I damn well know how to save for it. How do you think I bought my Gucci Dionysus bag 2 years ago? Yes, saving is not fun. You’re preaching to the choir here. And imagine trying to save all summer long! I’ll just say it- it sucks. It. flat. out. sucks. But my desire to travel is stronger than my impulsive habits so that’s where my strength comes from in order to say “no thank you” to a cocktail bar night out with my besties or “no thanks” to the New Arrivals section of Revolve.
Instagram has this ability to make us feel like shit sometimes. We see these influencers traveling the world, buying designer things every month, indulging on expensive items for their closet, home, travels, it can definitely get a person down. It certainly affects me from time to time. But here’s the truth, many of the people out there live a pretty normal lives so saving, although isn’t fun all the time, isn’t all that bad because it not only makes you appreciate these times when you can splurge or travel, it also makes you practice self control, which, I think, is one of the most invaluable life lessons anyone can have.
Main photo found via 9gag // Cover photo found via Cereal Mag