I have climbed the highest mountain in the Philippines, I have hiked for 14 hours for 2 days to reach the peak of Mount Pulag via Ambaguio Trail, I also swam for 1.9 kms on a man-made lake that smelled like athletes foot and ran for 23 kms to the top of Mount Santo Tomas in Baguio and back down. I happily do crazy things while travelling but I hate walking to the bank and lining up while “preferred clients” gets prioritized.
I resigned from work almost a year ago to travel and pursue my dreams of becoming a businessman in slippers and camisa de chino. Honestly, I made a turn on the rough road but it has been an incredible bumpy ride.
I won’t lie to you, money is an important factor for the decision I made.
Here are some tips that I would recommend to achieve the funds you could use to pursue your travel or dreams.
1. Make a target
I’m a guy who loves to observe things so I could create ideas and designs. The more I observe the more great ideas I make. The more great ideas I make the more great ideas I could pursue. The more I pursue my many great ideas the more I become a failure. It is because I lack focus.
When I decided to pursue my great idea that I would travel around the Philippines, I made a target date and I made a target amount of money. This kept me focused on my goals. It made me learn to say NO from buying the many cool stuff that looked really amazing and focus more on buying what I only need. Besides I find my personal experiences on the road far greater than my experience with gadgets.
2. 5 Peso a day
This is a product of my opening paragraph. Since I hate going to the bank I see to it that I collect 5 Pesos each day, 7 days a week. Before I knew it, I already had a thousand pesos that I could use for an overnight trip.
If you’re thinking that I bought a piggy bank for this then I think you are wrong. What I used is a plastic bag that I got from a department store. It may look lousy but I’d rather put my money inside the plastic bag than buy a 50 Peso piggy bank. Besides on the days that I have attention deficiencies I would shake the bag a little and the coins would wildly sound, it’s like saying to the office “Hey! I’m 5 Peso richer today!”
And since I learned to say NO from tip #1, I learned to say NO on touching my 5 Peso plastic bag bank whenever I feel like buying food. It’s a big challenge since it’s really accessible, but I made a brand for myself that if I ever remove a single 5 peso coin from it I would forever brand myself as a loser. It did the trick for me.
3. 100 Peso a day
I did find the 5 Peso a day a bit slow for me to collect my travel fund so I made another one, this time it’s a hundred Peso a day. Nope, it’s not on a plastic bag but this time on used bond paper that I folded and taped on the two ends to look like an envelope.
I place my 5 Pesos plastic bag and the 100 Pesos “envelope” on the locked drawer of my office table. I’m glad that I have honest officemates and was served by good building staff (i.e. janitor and guard) that even if I forgot to lock my drawer the money was still there. But you may not be as lucky as I am so I suggest a few times a month visit to bank would not hurt.
4. Stay away from urang-Utangs
There was a time when I was indebted financially to many people. I hated it. I hate the feeling that I already spent my hard earned money before receiving it. I hate the feeling when people call me because they are asking for payment. I hate the feeling when I meet with friends I could not smile and look them in the eye because I still could not pay them.
There was also a time when my friend was seriously avoiding me because he could not pay up when I was in dire need of money. I do not want to aggravate other people, so what I first did was I paid up all my debts so when I’m travelling no one would say “Ang lakas mo gumastos sa paglalakwatsa, e may utang ka pa sa akin.”
I may be penniless right now but I could happily meet all my friends, look them straight in the eye and say
libre mo naman ako “Did you know I saw this amazing beach in Eastern Samar?”
I talked to of my friends about pursuing my dreams, most of them said “Buti ka pa.” I asked them why they cannot pursue their dreams, surprisingly most of them answered because they have debts and loans to pay. I wanted to pay their debts for them to be free, but that would be impractical because I did not want them to be reliant on others nor do I have the ability to pay for all their debts. But what I can do is to pursue my dream and when I have achieved it, I will help them reach theirs.
I remember when I was watching Willie Revillame’s game show there was this contestant who said “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinagka-utangan, ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.” Funny but somehow true.
5. Be good at what you do
There are two things you need to travel when you are working in the office. It’s money and leaves.
To get more money you need to have a raise. To get/demand a raise you need to be good at what you do.
To approve your leaves you need to finish your job on time or way in advance in a good manner.
When you do good with your work it makes your boss happy. And when your boss is happy with your work, they will most likely sign your raise or leave approval with a smile showing that you deserve it.
I admit I didn’t do good on this advice, but I hope you learn from my mistake.
If you’re having a hard time doing good in what you do, listen to the podcast of Dennis Sy about Honor here.
6. Buy drifit clothes
Look at the maroon drifit shirt I wore when I climbed Pico de Loro last April 2006.
The drifit shirt was given to me on October 2005 and thanks to its big size, up until now I could still wear it (7 years after).
In fact, all of my drifit clothes that I bought on that point on I am still wearing up until now, regardless if it’s branded or not. All my drifit clothes I wore as my pambahay, pang-alis, many times I use it for my travels, for climbing mountains or a simple jog around the corner. This makes me save up more. In fact there were even years that I did not buy a single shirt.
By the way, buy plain drifit clothes because plain is always in style. The lesser the print the less likely people would notice that you’ve wore it again.
7. Plant Vegetables
If you have not read my eBook entitled Bits and Pieces of Romblon then you may have not known that I am a starting farmer in Palawan. If there was one thing I regret from being a farmer that is I did not learn to plant vegetables early. Magtanim ay di biro.
With my travels around the country I have learned that you can plant vegetables on pots even on terraces in condominiums.
If you plant your own vegetables then you would not need to buy the types that you have planted in the market making you save up more.
If you plant more or you simply don’t eat vegetables then you can post a sign at your door or gate that says you are selling your vegetables. You could even knock on your neighbor’s door or tell your officemates that you are selling vegetables.
My mother told me that she had an officemate that grows plants by making makeshift pots from styrofoams from printers and computers, filling it with soil, planting petchay on it then selling it on their office. If you’re good at planting vegetables then it’s not really saving money it becomes an investment.
Here’s a secret to achieve a green thumb. 70% soil, 30% compost. Space your plants well, water them only with the appropriate amount and give them sunlight.
If you have plants you tend to come home earlier from work, making you less susceptible to the temptation of going on a shopping spree.
I can go on and on about saving up for your travel fund, some of them may work on you some of them won’t. You may even research, observe and create your own ideas on how to save your own travel fund. But there’s really no secret to it, you only have to just do it.
The value of a great idea does not lie on the idea but on its execution.
— Lakas ng Trip (@LakasNgTrip) June 21, 2012
This is an entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival themed How To Fund Your Wanderlust. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see more interesting posts regarding the theme.
Journeying James of JourneyingJames.com hosts June 2012 Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival.
To see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival click here.