Many of my friends have asked me how we, on our very limited income, save money to travel to Japan. My family (Mother, daughter, and I) have been to Japan twice now and are planning another visit for next August/September/October – we haven’t decided on the exact month yet.
It’s actually very easy for us to save money.
We get our bills paid on time and then any extra money goes into a separate bank account.
Instead of going out to eat at a restaurant, we take that money and put it into the account and I make something super good for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
For Christmas/Birthdays/Mother’s Day we would take the day to hang out, relax, eat good food (that we’ve made), and maybe play some board games. In the event that there should be presents involved we either make them or buy something inexpensive that we would need. Last year I bought my daughter a really nice winter coat from her favorite Japanese store, Bodyline.
Instead of turning the air conditioner (a/c) on, we open up all the windows and use a fan in the living room. This, of course, doesn’t mean that we don’t use the a/c at all. My Mom has a heart condition and if needed we do turn it on but the thermostat is set high – like at 80 degrees Farenheit.
During the winter months, or when it’s unseasonably chilly here (We live in Wisconsin), we set the heat on 68 degrees Farenheit. If we’re still a little cold, there’s always sweaters/sweatshirts that we put on.
We don’t drive around much – basically back and forth to work or to the Mall (3 miles away) for our morning walks.
When grocery shopping, we only buy what we will use that week. I pretty much buy only from the perimeter of the store – produce and dairy, and only get the necessities from the interior – olive oil, flour, etc. I had stopped buying the junk type food a long time ago. It’s neither good for us nor nutritious.
Now, this isn’t to say that we don’t go out once in a while or that we sit home and eat celery. There are times when we do take little day trips (we have five cats so going somewhere over-night is not a possibility) like when we need to go to Mitsuwa (a Japanese grocery store in the Chicago area.)
So, it’s really easy for us to save money, especially when there’s something that we really want….like going back to Japan.