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Posted on Nov 28, 2012

Ridiculous Ways to Save Money (Oh, and Me Still Freaking Out Calmly)- Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ridiculous Ways to Save Money (Oh, and Me Still Freaking Out Calmly)- Siem Reap, Cambodia

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“What the hell are you doing?” I’m laughing hysterically, seeing Ron stuff six rolls of toilet paper into that second box. He’s blushing a bit, and answers, “You’ll see how much you have to pay for toilet paper in India. You won’t believe it. Do you know how much money this saves?” Brilliant! And so, the entire third floor never had toilet paper in the public bathrooms, but, hey, Ron and Or, have six rolls for the road. LOL! It’s all good.

People usually assume that we are super rich, hence, we can travel the world. We’re not. WE are rich, actually, I lied, but not with money. We have a little of that, but tons of experiences, freedom, choice, and learning. That comes from saving our money and learning how to make it last a ridiculously long time.

Let’s chat, if you will. about money a bit and about all of those tiny ways to save money, which is the greatest secret to making for yourself tons of money without changing any of what you already do. Kobi and I once bought a pack of q-tips for 3000 real (75 cents) and found the next store sold it for 1200 real (about 30 cents). We returned the q-tips for something else, and bought the 30 cents one, laughing at how cheap we can be to save 45 cents.

And then, I started to do the math. Let’s say, every day, I make one tiny choice that will save me 45 cents, just one choice, on a menu item, on a roll of toilet paper, on a tuk tuk driver, 45 measly cents. Let’s say.

45 cents for 30 days = $13.50
Thirteen dollars is stupid right? Why make efforts and think ‘coupon cutting’ for $13?

Here’s why:
$13.50 a month x 12 months= $162 a year
$162 a year x 10 years= $1620 in ten years

And, if you make ten choices like this, in 45 cents ways, or in larger purchases where you can save $50 or $500 dollars (easily), but let’s say it adds up to something tiny like we did in our 45 cent example.

In ten years, you have earned for yourself $16,200. What would you do with an extra $16, 200? My family and I can travel for 6 months to a year on that. Pretty sweet no?


And, I’ll say it a million times, and I’ll say again that this works for us, and I don’t care if it doesn’t work in the way you see the world, for I’m not interested in the criticism. You live the way that works for you and I will continue to travel the world and make my dreams come true in the ways that I can afford it. This works for me. Saving 45 cents a day, ten times a day, and a dollar here and $50 there and slowly but surely my money is lasting for me in ways I could not have imagined.

And even those we got $4500 on the car that we thought we would get $12,000 for, and especially now that we are actually making online, but even without that money, we took a one year budget and are inching towards year number two… That is what you do when you save. So, you can handle the set-backs and the unexpected total side-swipes that should knock you off your feet, but because you are not spending every last time you make, because you have SPARE money due to your frugality, those ‘bad’ things don’t foil all of your plans.

And I’m talking about leaving Siem Reap and the Garden Village Guesthouse, and slowly, how we are dealing with that which is like, again (and again and again) leaving home, the people who’ve adopted us like family, the places we know and love. Ugh. The nomadic family gets ready to be nomadic yet again.

Anicca, anicca, anicca (“impermanence” in Pali). It all comes and goes, right. For everything, turn,turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn.

Share away, saved some money, hate living that way, love it, wanna throw something at me for again doing a video without checking my hair or getting dressed? (You’d think I’d start catching on by now that rumbled hair, pj videos DO NOT feed my diva status. Mercy me! Oh my!)

Did I make you smile? or laugh? or pissed you off? Tell me about it, and click that you want to get responses, so you’ll know I wrote back.



This post is sponsored to by Coupon Chief




  1. Gabi, James and I are exactly the same, obsessive about saving money because we have a better use for it. Travel is our priority and has been for a very long time, so every cent we can save, we do. People probably think we’re cheap, I don’t give a stuff! We’re on a mission and we have $15000 saved up, that’s half way to our pre trip goal. If we can save $30000 I think we can manage for two years. Bring it on. I haven’t had a proper haircut in 5 years by the way, I cut my own, I was envious of your fluffy poodle look!!!

    • alyson, you are adorable and we were and are the same way. saving even when it seems cheap, so while everyone around me had i-phones, i-pads, new cars and couches, designer this, and tickets to that, oh, and ate here and there; we ate at home, bought second hand or traded with friends, and drove the same car and couch until it could no longer function. you choose where to put your money and how to reach that amazing travel goals that later everyone will say, like they say to us, “you must be rich. i wish i could do that. ” no shit sherlocke, i’m just tired of answering ‘you can’ so i just nod, yeah, we’re filthy rich, bite me. go you. you will do great, and reach your goal, or close enough and have those years to do as your heart most desires. love it that we can be witnesses of each other here. do you have a blog i can visit?

  2. Yes, Gabi, just click on my name up there, we’re ( the other thing that bugs me a bit is “lucky”…it’s not luck, it’s what we want to do and have done before, so we have to make it happen. That’s why I’m sitting here in 32 degrees and monster humidity with no aircon on! ( wearing a hat ‘cos my hair looks crap!) We should be on the road in under 6 months now.

    • great. i’ll go check it out. i can totally see you in that cold, with that hair and hat. i know. been there. you are amazing and focused on your goal dear. yes, you don’t have to be rich, you have to be determined. and, i do believe luck/God/the stars are involved too cuz a- both husband and wife are insane- a very necessary and lucky thing and b- nothing crazy/awful/illness/tragedy befell us and stopped us from going. things happen in life and something weird could have come up for us, so i’m grateful for that beyond me that enabled things to go as we hoped…. i think, for me, if i take all the credit, on a very personal level, it takes out the magical powers that i don’t understand that send me constant blessings. to those who call me lucky, i get it- right, just make it happen, but between me and the Universe/God, I’m very humble and so very, very grateful and appreciative. i love sharing this on-going discussion with you with alyson. omg- 6 months… wow. you are amazing. you’re hair can handle it- hold on! gabi

  3. Thanks for that post. You make me feel so much closer to my goal!! For us is really hard to save , everything we make -we spent. (yes, we leave in Fl, USA) but since I made a concious decision that tis RTW trip is HAPPENING in 2013 I said nothing comes in (new stuff) but we are getting rid of -kind of attitude. I always tell my kids when they want something: are you taking that around the world? Beause I don’t think i’ll fit. LOL. They still hate the idea but I think is sinking in. Again, thank you for ur posts. I’ll read it all .

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