The $10 Dollar Trip to Italy

My posts have been really personal lately, all about “me, me, me” and what I’m doing (or not doing) with my life.

Today I wanted to share a story about a girl I met back in 2008. We were working on the show “Fame”, which was a complete cluster… but we all had a good time. Back then.. she was about three years older than me (I was 21, she was 24), and she had just finished graduate school. One night backstage during a particularly lengthy tech rehearsal (which, really…what tech rehearsals aren’t lengthy?) she pulled out a photo album of her pictures from her Italy trip she took the summer after she graduated college.

You could tell she was proud of her pictures and her well-traveledness, and I commented on this.

“It’s because I paid for it all myself.” She confided, as if she were sharing some dark secret.

Say Whaaaaaaat?

“I put ten dollars away every week I was in college, and then when I graduated I took that money and went abroad.”

I did the math on this….10 dollars per week, 52 weeks a year, for four years=2080.00. I think she mentioned her parents bought the airfare as a present, and of course things were a bit cheaper seven years ago, back when the economy was good. She explained she backpacked a bit, stayed in hostels, and walked everywhere in order to make the money stretch. She went alone! To Italy! For two weeks! And she loved it! She even had an illicit affair with some Italian guy, but more importantly… she paid for it in FULL.

Back in 2008 as someone who was swimming in debt I couldn’t imagine having the fortitude to sock away ten dollars a week, every week, for four years. A lot of college students I used to know ATE on ten dollars a week, because that was usually all they had. I wanted to share this story not only because it has stayed with me all this time, but because I think it shows what you can accomplish in little bites. I am a person who wants BIG things to happen RIGHT now.

I definitely need to be reminded from time to time that the only things worth having are the ones worth working and waiting for.

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3 thoughts on “The $10 Dollar Trip to Italy

  1. I love this story and I think it’s a great way to show what small savings can do when applied over the long term. I actually employ this same technique for my Christmas budget…$10 a week pays for all of my Christmas presents to family AND a few decorations every year.

  2. Wow, what an inspiring story to get everyone started with saving, even if it’s small. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  3. So inspiring! I love how you basically just sock away a little bit (the price of ONE MEAL these days) and you can finance a trip. I hate when people think that all vacations have to be expensive. You just have to be smart about it.

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