ASK LUCY: How does one save money and still have a life?


Oh Wise One, I need your expert advice.

The 9 to five working life is slowly sucking me in and I don’t like it one bit. I need to rescue myself before I take out a mortgage get married and have a kid, have someone convince me that I actually like my job (attempts have already been made!) or start going to bed at 9 pm and taking up knitting.

I have my mind set on travelling the world. There’s this mythical thing called SAVING MONEY people are talking about. Apparently, I need saving-money to be able to go and travel. You ever heard of how saving money works? Is there a way one could travel without saving money? I must know!

Marek (up North).

Dear Marek (up North),

Fucking excellent question – let’s just start by acknowledging that. Saving money is in fact the bane of my existence – side note, did that phrase (the bane of my existence) come from Batman, or was Batman’s nemesis (Bane) named after that phrase – that’s something worth pondering.

I am constantly travelling, and very rarely saving. I end up having enough money to do what I want, but it’s always stressful and I often just wish I was loaded so I could not worry about such petty things like money (LET THEM EAT CAKE). That said, I have worked this out to sort of a science – so here are my tips, for saving.

  1. Take your lunch to work – this is 101 of being poor, and thrifty. Lunch is approximately 6€ – if you bring your lunch to work each day that’s 30€ a week, that’s 120€ a month. Although that’s not heaps, that’s 120€ more than you had before. And my dear friends – that is a return flight to these places from Berlin.
  2. Drink small – when I say this, I don’t mean drink less – I mean buy those little tiny bottles of wine you can get in the supermarket and smuggle them into bars. Yes, that is pretty destitute – but the fact is, I’m not stopping drinking to save money – and my nights out are expensive. Baby bottles of wine, solve world problems.
  3. DIY (do it yourself) – the art of doing it yourself escapes me. I don’t know why I find this such a foreign concept – but if I need links out of my watch, I take it to the watch maker. Clothes need to be washed – take it to the wash n’ fold. It’s not that I’m entitled – but the time that it takes to do all these things, is just not really worth the cost to effort ratio I place upon myself. Perhaps instead of paying a person to fix the chain on your bike – DIY-it.
  4. Recycle bottles – in Germany they give you money if you return glass/ bottles. I don’t really know how much it is – the “money back for goods” rule is like a fucking science. But if you can manage it – it’s nothing to be sneezed at.
  5. Borrow clothes from mates – you’re a dude, I get it – this doesn’t really happen. But maybe it should. Get in touch with your femme side – borrow your bro’s jumper, and then BOOM – new outfit for the PM. The bitches, they’ll dig it.
  6. Get around CouchSurfing – it helps if you are a babe’n lady, but if you aren’t just be really funny/ interesting.
  7. Buy a tent – you can travel anywhere with a tent. You can actually travel entirely for free throughout Norway with a tent (the cost is free – it’s the law).

If all of these pocket pinching tips don’t work – perhaps you could consider tackling this from the employment angle:

  1. Get a better job/ get paid more money – live like a student for 1 year, travel like a horrible Australian for 6 months.
  2. Tour the red light districts of Europe – you are European, you wouldn’t even need a working holiday visa.
  3. Divise a trip that is kind of insane/ marketable – get sponsors (please see: Lucy vs. America)
  4. Get a job in a new country – this is actually the How to Employment and Travel by Lucy Jasper.

If all that fails get a job at Lonely Planet.. Duh.

Love Lucy

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About LUCY

Femme of sass, sometimes.