I’m hotter ‘n tick right now.
One of my new Facebook friends, Jennifer, sent me a private message. She angrily claimed my trips were only for the wealthy and I should be ashamed of myself for pushing dreams that were unattainable for most people.
Well, honey bunch, that is about as far from the truth as I’ve ever heard. This time last year, when I was about to board the plane for my 30 days in New York, I was not sure how I could stretch my little bit of money to eat the entire month I was there.
And for this trip to Paris, I’ve done some things not many of you would ever dream of doing, just to meet my monthly goal of saving the money I need. (No, I’ve not walked the streets at night!)
Bet Jennifer’s not spent two weeks without a trip to the grocery store, eating only what you have left in your kitchen cabinets and drinking only tap water . . . Especially when the only cans in your cabinets contain mushroom soup, diced tomatoes, pasta, out-of-date mandarin oranges, and kidney beans.
In our church, when you cook for Wednesday night dinners, you get to take home the leftovers. You get tired of the same thing night after night, but that cut my grocery bill by four days.
I went an entire week not going anywhere in my car. I had $8 to last me the entire week, so I walked everywhere. Yes, I understand some of you have to drive to get to work, but I am betting some of you can ride the bus or carpool to save a few dollars.
I’m about to teach some classes on social media to earn a few extra dollars. God gave us all talents that we can share with others. Teach a class on baking cakes or scrapbooking, or do bookkeeping on the side. Sit with the elderly at night after work for a few extra bucks. Babysit.
And for God’s sake, cut that cable TV bill in half. I REALLY missed sports during the fall, but instead I listened to my Auburn football games on the radio, through the computer. And the movies that are available online are plenty. Wean yourself off Red Box and kiss Netflix goodbye.
Sell stuff out the wazoo. I got stuff that I thought nobody would want. Had me a yard sale and paid for my entire airline ticket! Checked that off my list.
For birthdays and Christmas, circulate the word that you’re saving for a trip. It makes it so much easier on your loved ones. Buying your wife a Mastercard gift card is a helluva lot easier than trying to please her with a new dress.
And the hardest part – accept help. When I was about to leave for New York a group of my girlfriends got together and had a send-off party for me. Each gave me a gift card, some to McDonalds, others to Starbucks. Those cards provided me enough cushion so I could do a few extra things on my trip.
And yes, my 30 days in NY was bare bones. I didn’t see a single Broadway show, nor did I pay to go to see museums. I planned my visits around the free days. Instead of eating out at fancy restaurants I ate out of food trucks and corner delis.
But I gotta tell you, I wouldn’t have traded one single hot dog or gyro for any fancy steak in that city. I wouldn’t have traded the best Broadway play for watching a wedding in Central Park. I wouldn’t have given anything for all the friendly people I met while trudging though those hot, sweaty subways.
Nope, if you want to make you dream come true, you can do it. You just got to make up your mind and take that first step.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
Thanks, Jennifer, for a topic for today’s blog post.