Skip the Toonie

old-tram2A few people in recent months asked me about my trip to Australia. It’s a big deal because as most of you know, Australia is very very very far away from Canada. I’ve always wanted to spend my birthday, usually one of the coldest days of the year in Canada, in a place where February means SUMMER. There were other places I could have gone but my heart was set on Australia. A land of friendly people, rich history, wonderful climate, beautiful scenery and of course, the beach.

When discussing Australia, What surprised me is that a lot of people want to go to Australia but admit they do not know how to go about saving for the trip. For 2 years, I saved for my trip to Melbourne by ignoring the endless ways we can spend little bits of money.

I skipped the Toonie.

Given the opportunity to spend $2 here, or $2 there, I chose to not spend the $2. I admit I was not perfect, but I will say, 70% of the time, I Skipped the Toonie. We have so much choice now that it’s easy to think  it’s only a Toonie.  You don’t have to make this your life’s work, but I found this worked for saving for a specific life event.

Then I had a completely unrelated conversation with someone about, of all things, laundry.

I do laundry once a week. One load, in cold water, colours and whites all mixed together. I know, living on the edge. The washers and dryers in my building each cost a Toonie. By skipping the dryer, I save $8 a month, times 12 months that’s $96. I do use the dryer about 5 times a year when I wash linen or new clothing that may need to be altered. So that’s about $86. People always say “but that’s only $86.” The money I saved did not go towards anything else, it went into my bank account, do not pass go, do not collect $200!  So my $86 x 2 years = $172CND which depending on the markets, is about $172AUS.

Well I can tell you, I found lots of ways to spend my $172AUS. Boat tour, bike rental, museum admission, a giant piece of chocolate cake on my birthday, donations to buskers, walking tour, gifts, books, trip to the beach, I could go on. And on. Great memories for $172AUS.

So my point is there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to skip the Toonie. It all adds up. All the way across the world.

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