Always had a thing for stripes, and always will...
Doves will always have a special place in my heart. The symbolism, the fact that all my students used to call me Ms. Dove, my nickname in HS, this image in particular reminds me of our wedding invitations.
Onto a different subject, people tend to ask me how we (my Hubby & I) are able to travel so much. We definitely aren't loaded in any sense, though we feel very content with what we've been blessed with. To answer this question, we simply make traveling a priority. Not everyone may feel that way, but it's a common interest we share and we enjoy immersing ourselves into different cultures, trying new foods, meeting new faces and being in new spaces and places. Sure, there have been times when my husband has the opportunity to travel through work, which saves us $ because all we need to do is pay for 1 plane ticket. But the majority of it comes from saving up (remember when you used to put all your extra change into a piggybank to save up for something you really wanted?) and being economical with our expenses. So here is the insider's info:
To be honest, we try to eat and spend like paupers (slight exaggeration) during our day to day living and use what we save for traveling. We dine in pretty much everyday, except for the occasional 1 or 2 meals when going out with friends. Once you get married, each meal is doubled (unless you share, which is what we do often), which adds up when totaling your monthly expenses. And even that isn't usually elaborate. We buy only what's in season, shop at Costco (though that can add up too), use coupons religiously (double coupons when available) and try to buy what's on sale.
We hardly ever watch movies or pay for entertainment, but take advantage of the tube and DVR, or use our annual Disney passes as a form of "pre-paid" entertainment. Call us "ghetto," but we bring our own snacks and teabags into Disneyland in order to avoid buying most of our food at the park (sorry, Disney).
In relation to this blog that revolves around material goods, one might wonder how much I spend on clothing each month. For us, this category includes personal expenses (shoes, accessories, toiletries, make-up, etc.) as well. The grand total that each of us aim towards is under $100. Depending on how one places value on material goods, this can seem plentiful or miniscule. Sure, there are times when we make larger purchases on classic items that will last awhile, but in order to make up for it, we try not to spend in that category for the next month or so. When looking for something of higher quality, I tend to search within thrift stores, flea markets, consignment stores - they are all wallet-friendly and you'll never know what you might find. You're also less likely to be wearing the same outfit as another person on the street.
Oh, and keeping track of all your purchases in an Excel sheet or notebook is very beneficial. We log every receipt and dollar spent. You'd be surprised to see how much you spend on food and material goods each month. There have been times where we ate at cheap hole-in-the-walls under 7 times and went over our budget without realizing it. Money can disappear with the blink of an eye when not handled wisely. So there you have it, our expenses in a nutshell.
If you have a goal in mind, there is always a way to work towards it. However, it does require making some sacrifices in your spending lifestyle. But in the end, it's worth every penny saved.