Single Occupancy: Saving for Your Rainy Day Travels

By Melanie Nayer

Lady and suitcaseOne of the questions I’m asked most often from readers is, “How do you afford to travel?” Well, it’s not easy. We all have bills to pay, rent is always due and despite my best efforts, I still haven’t paid off my credit cards. But when it comes to travel, I’m smart about how and where I spend my money, and that makes all the difference.

Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. With cheap airline tickets and hotels discounting their rates on a daily basis, it’s possible you can enjoy a luxurious vacation on a budget. But in this economy, how do you continue to stash money and also enjoy some of life’s simple pleasures, like travel? For answers to this question I turned to my good friend Catey Hill, author of “Shoo, Jimmy Choo! A Modern Girls Guide to Spending Less and Saving More,” and money editor for The New York Daily News.

Catey, your book, Shoo, Jimmy Choo!, is aimed at helping women spend their money wisely and ridding themselves of the excess ‘luxuries’ we often hide in our closets. How did you come to writing this – what was your inspiration? Were you a self-indulgent spender?

Maybe I’d watched one too many episodes of “Sex & the City,” but when I moved to New York City, I lived it up. I got an apartment in swanky Chelsea, stocked my closet to the brim, went to the newest restaurants – but had no savings to speak of (other than the $20 emergency bill I stashed in the lining of my purse in case a date turned psycho and I had to hop a cab on the fly), mounting credit card debt and no retirement fund. So, yes, I was SUCH an indulgent spender, and I had the buttery blonde highlights, Jimmy Choos and weekly manicures to prove it!

Then I landed a job as the Financial Marketing Manger for Forbes, and it scared me. At first, we’d be in a meeting and I’d hear terms like “Roth IRA,” nod and pretend that of course I knew what they were talking about. Then I’d race to my computer to look it all up.  Slowly but surely, I started learning more and more about money management, realizing that unless I got my finances in order, I’d never get out of debt, save for retirement (Hello! No more boss ever!), or buy a home.