Convenience Money

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I am normally a pretty frugal person. Well about certain things. Sometimes I am not a frugal person, but then again I don’t have to be because I was frugal other times, so it balances out. Or so I like to think.

A few years ago, I planned the “trip of a lifetime”** or so I thought at the time. I researched and studied the travel blogs and bloggers, and figured out how to book a first class trip to Bali, Indonesia for 12 days for almost free.

So here I am going on this fantastic trip and I start being “cheap” about stuff. Not frugal, mind you, full on cheap. It was at that moment I decided I could give myself a pass and use something called Convenience Money.

Convenience Money is set aside amount of money that can be spent “guilt-free”. Convenience in the sense that there was probably a cheaper option, but this one just works better. Like paying for someone to get my Indonesian Visa and get by bags in Bali, yes I could have done it myself, but for $20 money well spent!

So rather then get upset about “over” paying, I just started assigning a value for convenience for each trip. Like when I order room service instead of going out to eat. Or when I decide to take a taxi instead of taking the train. Before this concept, I would stress about oh I could have saved $5, but now I just think hmmm this taxi ride was such a great idea!

So stop penny pinching and enjoy the trip. Setting a budget is important, so if you are hit with unexpected expenses, you can plan for it. And use common sense, convenience money is not meant to be stupid money. Still spend wisely, just don’t let the little things potential ruin your trip.
For the record, I had saved money doing some things cheaper on my Bali trip. Like opting not to take the nice hotel Mercedes from the Conrad Hong Kong, but instead opting for the free bus to the subway. Yes I honestly felt a little tacky rolling out of a hotel that cost $1,500/a night (I got it for free) and asking for the free bus. But if I had not taken the free bus, I would have not able to afford the room service hamburger. So it balanced out.

And of the $100 convenience money I had assigned for the trip, I came home with $40 and great memories!

**”Trip of lifetime” is no longer a phrase I use. Calling a trip “trip of a lifetime” puts unnecessary stress on it to be perfect. No trip is perfect. So I prefer “a trip in my lifetime”.

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