There are lots of things going on in the world today but for some reason I didn’t feel like writing about any of them so I thought I might skip 10 Minutes today. But then I started thinking about my next vacation which led me to wonder how I’m going to pay for it.
My wife often says that if we just drank a little less we might have more money to spare. Now I don’t drink $50 bottles of wine or sip from $200 bottles of scotch. No my preference is cheap wine and cheaper beer with only the occasional treat of something special. Still, it adds up and, over the course of the year, might well – if I were to stop altogether – pay for a (modest) week somewhere not too expensive.
But why stop there? If I were to stop eating anything I didn’t prepare myself, I’d certainly be better off – especially if I cut beef out of my diet, which some people seem to think is more healthy (others, thankfully, disagree). Again , we aren’t talking about eating out every night at five star restaurants but I do go out a couple or three times a month, plus the occasional lunch at the cafeteria or pub and the three times a month order of pizza… and a few muffins; again, it adds up. It might not pay for a week in Paris but a long weekend in Montreal? Sure.
Savings abound. For example, I live downtown and, while that means I don’t need to own a car, it is a bit expensive when you add up mortgage, condo fees, taxes and so on. Not penthouse in downtown Toronto expensive but not cheap. I could move to the suburbs and, as long as I was on a bus route, save quite a bit each month. Now that would pay for a week in Paris for sure – maybe two.
But wait, I thought of something else. I read about 35 books a year. I could probably increase that to 45 if I cut out drinking and eating out and spend my time commuting on the bus reading. But, I generally buy 60 to 70 books a year. And not e-books either but usually hard covers and trade paperbacks. Cutting twenty or so of those would pay for a weekend in Toronto for sure.
Look at that – four simple changes in my life and I can have another three or four weeks holiday time paid for without sacrificing anything. Well, other than wining, dining, reading and the comfort of my turn-key condo.
And think of the money I could save if I stopped going on vacations! Why, I’d be as rich as Howard Hughes. And pretty much living his lifestyle, too. Which means I’d be saving on soap, shampoo, haircuts, nail clippers and telephone bills. Hmm.
I guess I’ll have to cash in my RRSPs and pay for my holiday that way.
And that’s ten minutes.