I HAVE been writing this column for more than 7 years now. I have had my fair share of travel, hotel hopping, food tastings and celebrity news. This year though I would like to write a number of articles that will tackle business, money, and housing. These three things that I feel we need to have down pat for us to have a wander woman life - so you can afford to enjoy life without going broke.
1) To be a Wander Woman, apply for airline mileage cards. I started collecting airline miles more than 10 years ago when points were easier to obtain and redeem. Today, most airline frequent flyer program do not have very attractive points for redemption. Because of the frequent flyer programs I have invested in, I am loyal to certain airline alliances to get the most out of my trips- this includes Asia Miles with its carrier Cathay Pacific Airways, Eva Air's Star Alliance, Philippine Airlines' Mabuhay Miles, and locally, Cebu Pacific's Get go. You can collect airline miles while traveling and by using certain credit cards affiliated to the program. With these miles, I was able to go to London, Iceland, Sweden, Japan.
2) To be a Wander Woman, sign up for flight deal alerts. I have known people who are very good in booking the "piso fare" promotion of Cebu Pacific. Last Easter, my female barkada went to Sydney, Australia because of this irresistible promo from Cebu Pacific that took them to Sydney for $500 only.
3) To be a Wander Woman, find inspiration based on your goals. I noticed that when I follow Instagram fashion stars like Chiara Ferragni or Alexa Chung, I find myself wanting to buy whatever they are wearing. So, I unfollowed most of the fashionista Instagram influencers and follow more on architecture, home design influencers as I want to have properties in the future instead of more clothes. I can barely fit anything in my walk in closet now anyway. I want to be able to have more properties that are investments instead of being a fashion diva and have extra money to be able to discover more of the world and be a Wander Woman as long as I live.
4) To be a Wander Woman, save as much as you can and that includes your bonus and raise. It is normal to want to have a higher standard of living when you get a raise. You want a nicer car, a bigger house, and more designer items on your closet. However, if you want to travel and discover the world and be more exposed culturally, you would have to save as much as you can to be able to do just that. Instead of buying more material things, I would rather use my bonus for savings for investment and about 20% for travel.
5) To be a Wander Woman, you have to figure out how much are your fixed monthly expenses. I also learned this very recently when I had to live on my own. I was shocked with how much I spend on groceries and eating out. You do not think it will hurt your net cash position but it does. A little dessert here, a little expensive frappe here and it can all add up in your monthly expenses. Always be reminded of the difference of the fixed monthly expenses you HAVE to pay for -- grocery, rental or housing expense, transportation expenses. The rest are wants, not needs like going to the cinema, eating at expensive restaurants, and buying another sandal (when you still have other shoes you have not even worn yet)
6) To be a Wander Woman, learn to shop at your own home. I am guilty of this too -- I tend to take home beauty products when I am at the mall when I have boxes of make up I have not even used. So before you buy another make up or another toothpaste at the grocery, organize your home so you can see which personal products you still have and which ones are running out. I would buy toothpaste only to discover I still have 4 tubes sitting at home. You will definitely save money as you will not have expired products you will just throw and with the current inflation, everything really has become more expensive. Case in point, there are no more 5 peso sardines!
7) To be a Wander Woman, try thrifting. There are numerous groups on Facebook now that sell second hand everything. Second hand clothes, second hand furniture, second hand cars. As they say, another man's trash could be another person's treasure. I have bought second hand planter pots, second hand coats, and second hand tables on Ebay, Craigslist and Facebook. These things are normally half the cost of retail prices when they are brand new.
These are my tips to be able to live a wanderlust lifestyle without going broke. It is possible to travel and have fun and not work yourself to death!
Follow me on twitter @missheiding, Instagram @missheiding Blog- sunstar.com.ph/author Heidi Ng