As a new adoptee of a thrifty lifestyle, I have a confession to make… Eight weeks ago I spent $39 on a brand new Lonely Planet Guide about Western Europe. In my mind, I needed a last big “hoorah” trip before settling down and having kids. And Europe was to be it.
To date, we have traveled a few times throughout southeast Asia, New Zealand, been to the west coast of the USA, and done an extensive overland trip through Central America.
However, we have never set foot on the European, African or Antarctic continents. So, we figured, while we’re still young we may as well hit up the European hot spots for a 4-6 week trip.
I spent many hours researching where in Europe we’d like to go and why, and then put a (non-thrifty) budget together based on how long we’d require over there.
After a few iterations and cutting back of trip due to said budget required, we agreed on England, Scotland, France, Spain and Portugal, with a stop via Dubai on the way home to see a friend. This trip could be done in 3 weeks and on a budget we could “afford”, $10k to be precise.
A few weeks later, my brain switched onto thrifty land after I had The Epiphany and I suddenly realised that if we will still have a car loan of $8k at an interest rate of 12% and $3k owing on the credit card, at an interest rate of 15%, then we couldn’t actually afford the trip at all.
Consequently, I swiftly closed up that Lonely Planet guide and sat it next to the couch to collect dust.
A couple of weeks later again, I looked at that book and remembered that I had paid $39 for it brand new only a few weeks earlier, and now it is literally sitting and collecting dust.
Needless to say, I was pretty bloody pissed off with my non-thrifty self as $39 is about an hour of my wages.
This got me thinking “surely there must be a way I can look at actual books without spending money”.
Now, I sat thinking for quite sometime with not a lot popping into my head, when suddenly, bam! I remembered all those days I spent in University looking at books on case law in the library. “A library!”, I shouted (scaring the shit out of my poor dog in the process).
So, I swiftly Googled “Libraries Brisbane” and was pleased to discover there’s one 5 minutes away. So, I decided that as soon as I get the chance, I must join!
Today was that day. The day I took myself down to my local library and asked to join.
Very quickly, I was given a library card, a guide on what membership includes, and a run down on how many libraries and books across Brisbane my membership gives me access to.
Needless to say I was impressed. I then looked around at all the books, magazines and audio books I could access, for free. I was then very impressed!
As I was walking around, I discovered the travel guide section. A whole section of travel guides, that I could hire for 28 days at a time, for free! It was in this moment that I decided to never again purchase a book unless I absolutely, 100% need it.
That $39 I spent on a dust collector could have gone onto my car loan to improve my net wealth. That’s exactly what I will do with the next $39 I think about spending on a book. I encourage you to do the same!
Until next time, TFC.