So, you’ve decided that you want to take an epic trip. Whether it’s a year long sabbatical, a week-long splurge at a nice resort on the beach, or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, you’re going to need the cash.
So here you are: Our five best motivators to help you set up a savings account and start stashing cash away for your dream trip.
Tell the expensive cheese who’s boss. Seriously. Go to the expensive cheese isle. Look at how much a pound of gruyère costs. Figure out how much you spend on cheese in a month. If cheese isn’t your weakness, then go to your local electronics store, your coffee shop, comic book store, the place that sells life size gnomes – wherever you spend too much money. Facing how much you spend on trivial crap like this will motivate you to stop buying it.
In your face. Put a photo of your dream destination somewhere you’ll see it constantly. If you’re a smartphone junkie, slap your pic of Kilimanjaro on your iPhone wallpaper. If you spend a lot of time in the fridge (no judgement here), post a pic on the door. Heck, if it works for you, slap a photo in front of the toilet. Just make sure that it’s somewhere you’ll see it all the time. Looking at your dream destination keeps you focused on your goal when you’re tempted to blow money.
Get out of the closet. Let the world know you’re planning your dream trip. Tell your friends, your family, your cat, heck, even tell strangers on the street (this one’s not advisable if you’re a New Yorker, sorry). Making your dream public will create consequences; your Mom will ask how your savings are coming along, folks at the water cooler will ask when you’re going, and your cat will lick its butt (OK, maybe telling your cat isn’t such a good idea). No one likes public humiliation and failure, so the threat of having to tell everyone you’ve fallen off track should keep you saving.
Take yourself out of the equation. A psychology prof once told me that willpower is an illusion; that we are just creatures of habit. Despite his habitual bad breath and weird penchant for cut off jeans, I think my prof was right. If you want to save, you need to create new habits. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your main bank account, and transfer it to a savings account that’s hard to access. No willpower required.
Find your idiot. A few years ago I wanted to learn Spanish, but I’ve always been terrible at languages. Then I met a Croc-wearing 44-year-old Vanilla Ice clone at a party who’d learned decent conversational Spanish in a year online. That’s all I needed to know. If that idiot could do it, I could too. My Spanish still isn’t perfect, but I can ask where the toilet is and order beer, and I have Vanilla to thank. Find your own idiot to inspire you – one that makes you say – well if that jack!*s can do it, I can too.
I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by four o’clock.
– Henny Youngman