I’m Hotter ‘n Tick!

I’m Hotter ‘n Tick!

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I’m hotter ‘n tick right now.

One of my new Facebook friends, Jennifer, sent me a private message. She angrily claimed my trips were only for the wealthy and I should be ashamed of myself for pushing dreams that were unattainable for most people.

Well, honey bunch, that is about as far from the truth as I’ve ever heard. This time last year, when I was about to board the plane for my 30 days in New York, I was not sure how I could stretch my little bit of money to eat the entire month I was there.

And for this trip to Paris, I’ve done some things not many of you would ever dream of doing, just to meet my monthly goal of saving the money I need. (No, I’ve not walked the streets at night!)

Bet Jennifer’s not spent two weeks without a trip to the grocery store, eating only what you have left in your kitchen cabinets and drinking only tap water . . . Especially when the only cans in your cabinets contain mushroom soup, diced tomatoes, pasta, out-of-date mandarin oranges, and kidney beans.

In our church, when you cook for Wednesday night dinners, you get to take home the leftovers. You get tired of the same thing night after night, but that cut my grocery bill by four days.

I went an entire week not going anywhere in my car. I had $8 to last me the entire week, so I walked everywhere. Yes, I understand some of you have to drive to get to work, but I am betting some of you can ride the bus or carpool to save a few dollars.

I’m about to teach some classes on social media to earn a few extra dollars. God gave us all talents that we can share with others. Teach a class on baking cakes or scrapbooking, or do bookkeeping on the side. Sit with the elderly at night after work for a few extra bucks. Babysit.

And for God’s sake, cut that cable TV bill in half. I REALLY missed sports during the fall, but instead I listened to my Auburn football games on the radio, through the computer. And the movies that are available online are plenty. Wean yourself off Red Box and kiss Netflix goodbye.

Sell stuff out the wazoo. I got stuff that I thought nobody would want. Had me a yard sale and paid for my entire airline ticket! Checked that off my list.

For birthdays and Christmas, circulate the word that you’re saving for a trip. It makes it so much easier on your loved ones. Buying your wife a Mastercard gift card is a helluva lot easier than trying to please her with a new dress.

And the hardest part – accept help. When I was about to leave for New York a group of my girlfriends got together and had a send-off party for me. Each gave me a gift card, some to McDonalds, others to Starbucks. Those cards provided me enough cushion so I could do a few extra things on my trip.

And yes, my 30 days in NY was bare bones. I didn’t see a single Broadway show, nor did I pay to go to see museums. I planned my visits around the free days. Instead of eating out at fancy restaurants I ate out of food trucks and corner delis.

But I gotta tell you, I wouldn’t have traded one single hot dog or gyro for any fancy steak in that city. I wouldn’t have traded the best Broadway play for watching a wedding in Central Park. I wouldn’t have given anything for all the friendly people I met while trudging though those hot, sweaty subways.

Nope, if you want to make you dream come true, you can do it. You just got to make up your mind and take that first step.

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Thanks, Jennifer, for a topic for today’s blog post.


  • Debbie V.
    Posted at 16:19h, 15 July

    What you’re doing is awesome and you know it. It sounds like you are living a very rewarding life – this is what we all strive for.
    I wish there was some way to explain to others how important it is make the best life choices to bring them this same satisfaction. Life is short. We are not always in control of what happens.

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 16:46h, 15 July

    You are so right, Debbie. Oh, if I could only convince those younger folks coming up that they don’t need to let work, money, bigger houses and fancier cars, expensive colleges, or any other excuse get in the way of their hopes and dreams for themselves and their families, I’d be happy. I got so caught up in what I was ‘supposed to do’ instead of what my gut told me was right. Here we are, you and I about to turn 60. We got a lot more left in us. It’s never too late.

  • Lynne H
    Posted at 21:23h, 15 July

    Oh if I could high-five you I would !!
    I decided last year to pack up and leave my current city and make a new home in NOLA. While it requires hours & hours of planning, scrimping & saving (ie: I completely cut off cable, no more fancy haircuts, moved from a house to an apartment for my last year here, scratched Starbucks daily java, reverted back to simple meals I used to cook when the kids were small, watch free movies online, etc.) my dream from 25 years ago is coming to fruition. It’s just like you said, how bad do we want something. You go to Paris and have a wonderful time and I bet someone will buy you a delish meal at a charming cafe and you can forget about the expired mandarin oranges.

    PS-I’m 52 and no spring chicken but I am going to live life fully!!!

  • Michele Stapleton
    Posted at 23:15h, 15 July

    Maybe you could do a blog post inviting folks to share suggestions on how to travel more cheaply? Years ago a friend of mine shared how he had just taken his entire family to Isreal on points he had earned on his credit card. I have a credit card for my business, and immediately changed it to a card that earns travel reward points redeemable on any airline. Since then I’ve bought three international tickets (Paris X2 and Ethiopia once) with tickets on that card. Not to mention a handful of domestic tickets. I’m not going to miss great French food, but I’m going to keep it from getting too expensive, by 1) eating off the “prixe fixe” menus, 2) doing my splurging at the nicer restaurants at lunch time, when prices are more reasonable and 3) picnicking in the parks with ingredients purchased at the street markets. One of my favorite “diners” on the last trip to Paris was the picnic we had on the Pont des Arts. I still shake my head when I remember that we picked up sandwiches on the way…at Subway! (Mon Dieu!)

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 02:13h, 16 July

    LYNNE! I need to know you. You are moving to NOLA. I just spent a glorious 5 days there in March. Oh, thank you. You understand!!

  • Janis Miller
    Posted at 13:14h, 24 August

    Hi there. I love to travel all over. But this year I’m staying in the US but exploring new and old places of interest. Can’t wait.

    Yay for Lisa and her penny-conservation to get to her goal. And remember, the Auto de Chefs(?-Paris cafeterias) serve pretty good food inexpensively. And, of course, gelato is Italian but they serve it everywhere in Paris. Filling and low euros.

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 18:11h, 26 August

    Sound like I’ve got lots of friends who’ve traveled cheaply, gone back to school on a dime, and who are enjoying life a whole lot more!