Don’t save money – spend it!

Well ok, so the title is a ‘slight’ generalisation but the real title ‘save for your next big trip and cut back your spending but still treat yourself every now and then because you should do everything in moderation‘ seemed a little too long.

You see, when you speak to ‘real travellers’ instead of holiday-makers (whatever those terms really mean), even if you return home, you are constantly researching and planning new trips and that, of course, means saving your travel money. So you stop socialising as much.  You stop buying ‘treats’ like new clothes or computer games (whatever floats your boat).  You cut back on any kind of luxury so that you can make your dream a reality and you do everything humanely possible to up your bank balance.  But you know what you forget to do in that time?  LIVE.

As I said a previous post, you can still save your money but keep buying a new wardrobe or equipment for your travels and you know what?  I think continuing to buy things instead of saving every penny is GOOD FOR YOU!  I’m not saying buy everything just because you want to but trying to save every single penny is just, well, depressing as hell!  Sure if you usually go out 10 times a month and a buy new dress or shirt for every time then cut back but there is nothing wrong with some socialising and treating ourselves. 

I’m all for planning for the future but what about living in the present?!  If you’re not planning on a big trip for a few months or even a year, surely it’s sad when you reach your goal and look back on those past few months and think ‘what a waste’.  I didn’t go out with friends and enjoy the time we had together before we left, I didn’t buy that killer dress that I looked amazing in or my first pair of new shoes in over a year.  How boring and sad.  I’d even go as far to say that maybe it’s not such a bad thing to splash out on a mini-break somewhere if you can scrape the cash together.  It doesn’t have to be expensive and there are always some great deals on all-inclusive holidays if you just want a beach, a good book and yummy food to keep your ‘travelling spirit’ alive!


Sure, you can argue that the more you ‘treat’ yourself the longer it will take your dreams of travelling to become a reality but just because you’re aiming for something important in the future, you shouldn’t stop living in the present.  You don’t have to go out on every invitation but if it’s a close friends’ birthday then go out and have some fun and enjoy letting your hair down.  Likewise, if there is a game you’ve been wanting to play for months then go ahead and buy it.  Sure, you might complete it in a couple of weeks and I may only be able to wear my new shoes a few times before I head off but enjoying them ‘in the now’ is the best bit.  You don’t need to spend a fortune on yourself but you shouldn’t punish yourself either.

Life can pass you buy in an instant but that doesn’t mean you can’t slow it down with some socialising and treats 🙂

What do you like to treat yourself with when you’re waiting to travel?


Leave a Reply


  1. I’m stoked that I cut back my social life whilst saving – although I did give myself a budget for a once a month party splurge to make it bareable!
    I kept thinking about spending in the UK and how much it would be worth if I had that money in say Asia – one starbucks equalled a meal, beer and dorm room in Chang Mai!haha!
    in saying that though there was always money for surf trips…ALWAYS!

  2. “But you know what you forget to do in that time? LIVE.”

    Love this line. And the message of this post. I went WAY overboard before I left England and stopped seeing friends. I even refused to turn the heating on and would be sat at home in January with 400 blankets piled on top of me feeling miserable.
    I definitely shouldn’t have been so extreme 🙂

  3. Jen

    I AGREE! You can plan for the future but you can’t forget to live for the present – you never get this time back!! Fabulous post my love xxxx

  4. You can never take it with you and I agree spend it!!! The recession has a kinda hidden message saying ‘keep hold of what you have’ – I am a non conformist so if I had the time and money I would have a great time spending it.

  5. It’s all about finding that right balance – we’re still living with parents and although it’s painful, it allows us to save an extra couple of thousand dollars each month which makes a massive difference! But we make up for it by buying clothes and having the odd big night out… 🙂

    The underlying goal – making sure you’re happy!

  6. Yes, it is all about balance, and sometimes it’s hard to find. BRILL

  7. I usually cut back right before a trip, unless it’s something for the trip. Earlier this year, before my New Zealand trip, I did splurge on a new ipod, and was really glad I did.

  8. I wish I could save more… then I could go on more trips… boo real life lol

  9. Haha. That is an impressive collection of nail varnish! I agree too. You can treat yourself every now and again. Just don’t go crazy. So many of my non-traveller friends buy a lot of sh*t they don’t need/ever use! It pains me! One great way to save is to insist you don’t exchange birthday presents with your friends. Then you only get the stuff you actually want/need!

  10. I absolutely agree with Jen and you. You can plan for the future but you can’t forget to live for the present – you never get this time back!- well said. I spend each $ on my travels and I feel like it’s the best investment I’ve ever done!

  11. I totally agree with you! For me, I do ‘work’ at coffee shops from time to time, eat at my favorite restaurant with my grandparents and watch movies. I love myself and I do make sure that I don’t overspend. I am not really a shopaholic or a techie, but i love to travel, eat and i’m a frustrated filmmaker 😛

  12. Going through this today…having an awful case of it =(

    – Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad

  13. Chris – Once a month splurge is super important because at least you’re still getting the chance to socialise without the weekly bills though I know what you mean about comparing our prices to how much that would equate to on your travels and how much more you would get in return 😀

  14. Lauren – You refused to turn on the heating? Wow – extreme haha. I think there’s a balance to find – cut back but have fun 🙂

  15. Jen – Thanks lovely. You’re right – you’ve got to keep living even whilst planning for the future.

  16. Mark – I think if we had money, all of us would have a great time spending it 😀 Money doesn’t buy happiness but it can sure help 😉

  17. Kieron – couldn’t agree more; balance is the key word! And I say – if you’re at home, you’ve got to be comfortable and trendy so I’d dfinitely advocate buying clothes 😉 And as you say, always make sure you’re happy 🙂

  18. Snowbird – you’re right, balance is sometimes an awkward thing to achieve but once you do it can feel great! Glad you liked the post 🙂

  19. Erik – I think you did right to splurge. If it’s something you desperately want/need and you’ve been wanting it for a while, there’s nothing wrong with spending out. It’s the ‘silly’ purchases we make for the sake of it that we need to cut back on 🙂

  20. Hogga – well then, stop buying booze and pizza missy 😉 haha

  21. Arianwen – I have to admit that I used to be one of your friend-types that bought a lot of crap I never really needed, I just wanted but ever since I discovered travel, I’ve changed for the better. Great idea on friends birthday presents – didn’t think of that!

  22. Agness – Spending money on travel is a fantastic investment, you’re right and it pays off far more than you put into it 🙂