I'm a pretty bad salesman. Which is funny because I have spent a large portion of my life selling. That I didn't starve to death can only be chalked up to the fact that the people who bought from me really wanted what I had to offer. They wanted it even after I asked, "Are you sure? It's a lot of money. Not to mention a really big commitment."
The thing is, affordability is an illusion based on perception, and that perception is molded by priority. So on a recent business trip when I spent $38 on a steak, which, due to the fact that the steakhouse forgot to include utensils in my take-out bag, was consumed with my bare hands on my bed at a Holiday Inn outside of Detroit, I had justified that expense because I had been thinking of eating steak for about three months. However, earlier that day, I had balked at the idea of spending $1.50 on a bottle of water (you don't wanna hear me get on that soapbox).
I find that a dollar as representative of a "unit of currency" is pretty meaningless. So meaningless that when I return from a foreign country where I've been asking myself the question, "2,000 Forint... ok, how many dollars is that?" that I will read a label and ask, "$3.75... ok, how many dollars is that?" Because cost is arbitrary. I'm not going to explain checks and balances and what our currency is based on (because I don't know...Is it gold?). But the fact is we measure cost based on our needs and wants (needs vs. wants: another completely different subject).
When I was saving for my impromptu seven-week trip to Southeast Asia and Korea, I measured everything in the cost of guesthouses and street food: "$13.99 for a bottle of wine!? That's three nights in Vietnam!" A few weeks ago when I was apartment shopping, I measured leases based on flights to India...
... and this is how you really budget
- Not based on cost alone.
- Not based on need alone.
- And not based on want alone.
It's not that I'm an expert, per se. But I've been to more than 30 countries in the past couple of years, I once traveled over 1,000 miles on less than $11 US, I just ate a $38 steak on a hotel room bed, and I have $0 in credit card debt. I've picked up some tricks. And I plan to share them with you here. For a mere $29.99 a month with a 24-month contract.
Just kidding! Just like or follow me on twitter, facebook, bloglovin, blogger or google reader and tell your friends. I promise we'll have a good time this year!