I actually thought I'd have plenty of time to blog this year during my high school exchange but it seems I'm almost as busy as last year. Turns out today I leave for New York. The big apple. Whilst it almost seems unreal the fact that my cash is dwindling does seem very real. I was given a travel money card before I came on exchange which my parents loaded with some of my pocket money for the year, whilst it's not a credit card, I've been flashing it around like it is one but after taking a closer look at my account summary I had to take drastic measures and I don't think I've used my card for about a month. I always used to think it was so hard to save money and that scrimping and saving little by little didn't make much difference overall but I've realised if you really want to save money you've got to have a different mindset. Before I really took to this 'money-saving' way of thinking I had all these little necessities I was planning to buy and would never consider missing out on eating out or doing an activity that cost money. Now that I've really embraced scrimping I realise it's not that bad and I haven't missed out on that much or really regretted it. If anything I've experienced more, enjoyed myself more and learnt simple ways to make things last. One of my expenses that I knew I had to accommodate for this year was toiletries so in order to save money I've been using up some of the shampoos already in the bathroom I use that my host mom had in there even though they may not be the ones I'd usually get they're still good and it means I won't have to go out and purchase as many myself. I also noticed the toothpaste I found in the bathroom here foams up really easily so I don't need to put as much on my toothbrush. I've also been trying to save my pimple cream by making sure I cleanse my face for at least a minute to prevent blemishes in the first place. This March I think I've spent around $170 which is less than half of what I spent in January and February and is going to be really helpful as I need money for shopping in New York. Unfortunately the trip only includes breakfast at the hotel so in order not to spend a fortune on food which is one-time thrill type of spending I got my host parents to stock us up with food from Costco so at least we won't have to buy all our snacks there. We bought cup of noodles, crackers and fruit roll-ups plus I was skyping my mum back in Australia and she said that when she went travelling around Asia with a friend 20+ years ago they took hard-boiled eggs in their suitcases as they keep well so today I'm going to boil up a bunch and pop them in with the rest of my luggage! Thanks for the idea mum!
My high school had a variety show(basically a talent show minus the prize) several weeks ago and I thought that would make a fun Friday night out but it cost $2. Usually I wouldn't blink at eyelid about paying for that but now it's like $2 is $2 less that I'll have in my bank account. I recently spent a day in a nearby seaside town, Santa Barbara and I ended up spending over $30 on just food alone- all the little snacks I bought throughout the day added up so now I'm really wary with any money I spend. I knew I really wanted to go to the talent show so when my drama teacher presented me with the opportunity to usher for the variety show which meant I could get in for free I signed my name up right away! I actually had so much fun ushering- I got to greet everyone coming in and it was nice seeing how community-spirited everyone was about the event and I got to mess around with all the other ushers there. There was like 7 or 8 of us which was way too many so we were all fighting to give our programs to the new guests coming through the door. If it wasn't for me being so stingy I wouldn't have been able to get such a 'wholesome' experience of the night.
I will continue to let you all know how my stingy mindset plays out in real life whilst I'm hitting it up in the big apple this week.