Spend vs Save: How I spent money on my holiday

On my recent holiday, I saved thousands in some areas, and splurged in others. In today’s episode, I share how money played a part in the holiday experience both before and during the trip, as well as share how your money values can effect your decision-making when it comes to your personal and business finances.

In this Episode:

02.12: The importance of taking holidays in your business

02.49: How we afforded our holiday and time away from our businesses (including why we used a spreadsheet and budget to plan our trip)

08.36: Where we saved throughout the trip according to our money values

17.28: Where we splurged on our holiday according to our money values



In today’s episode, I want to talk about my recent 3 week holiday through Asia and specifically how money played such a big part in decision making before and during the trip. 


There were some decisions I made on this holiday that saved us THOUSANDS of dollars, and in other areas we splurged. 


The reason this episode is important, is that as we enter the new year, I want you to start getting really intentional with your finances.  Thinking about what is important to you when it comes to money, and how you can align your business with your money values. 


Make sure you have a listen and start to think about how you can use your money in the most aligned way in 2023. 

The importance of taking holidays in your business

Now I also want to stress the importance of scheduling and taking holidays when you are business owner. This is actually the first time since I started my business (6 years ago) that I have FULLY taken time off. Usually I am still available/ doing bits and pieces here and there while I’m away. 


But this time was the first time I had everything pre-scheduled and prepared for while I was away. 

This time off for me was especially transformative. And I have come back with so much zest for my business and the year ahead.


How we afforded our holiday and time away from our businesses (including why we used a spreadsheet and budget to plan our trip)


Bit of background,  I have a sister who lives in Singapore with her hubby and 2 kids who are about the same age as mine and we really wanted to go and see her and visit Singapore (since we’ve never been). Also, my youngest son has FINALLY finished kindy. The last year we’ve had one in school and one in kindy.  Anyone is Australia will know how expensive childcare is- we’ve been paying $500 a week as we don’t get any government rebate.   


So I suggested to hubby that over the Christmas period, when our businesses slow down, that we take off overseas for a few weeks.  I pointed out that we’d save thousands not having our son in childcare over that periods and also not having our nanny. 


Given that we now live in a prime pocket of real estate, I also found out that we could AirBnb our house out for a small fortune for a few weeks.   


So I pulled together a spreadsheet (you can imagine how delightful it is being married to me) and showed him how I think we could do a several week holiday without a huge net investment. 


He seemed pretty excited and said let’s look into it more! 


As it turns out, it’s not that simple to AirBnb a place out as you have to get a licence and pay commercial rates on your property plus there would probably be capital gains implications, so instead we let some family members stay here. 


But the rest of the spreadsheet/ budget we stuck to pretty well. 


Going on a tangent here, but one of the big objections I hear of why people won’t do a budget is that they are worried they’ll get the numbers wrong. 


But the point of a budget isn’t that it has to be perfect!  It’s about having a plan.  And sometimes things don’t go to plan and that’s ok. 


Hubby and I are lucky that we more than had the bandwidth to absorb the budget blow out… and I think that’s something important to consider when you ARE making plans which is – what’s the plan if it doesn’t go to plan? 


Back to the holiday!  So we settled on spending 3 weeks overseas.  I really wanted to go somewhere not super developed, to start teaching out children about their privldege and I love to inject tourism dollars into poorer communities.  So we landed on Cambodia for our first stop, then to spend time with my sister and family in Singapore, then we really wanted some “chill” time.  Because let’s be honest, being with your kids 24-7 especially when travelling isn’t exactly relaxing. 


So we decided to stay at Club Med that has a kids club and is an all inclusive so that we could have some couple time and family time and just chill out. 


The next decisions to make were splurge vs save. 


Where we saved throughout the trip according to our money values 


My hubby and I are pretty versatile.  I’ve camped for 6 weeks through Africa and backpacked around the world, and we’ve also stayed in some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts.  I’m finding as time goes on I’m leaning more towards preferring nicer accommodation, but I also wouldn’t say we are snobs. 


We decided that for the Cambodia leg we would stay in cheaper accommodation, as you can get quite nice accommodation for pretty cheap.  The accommodation we ended up choosing was about $100 a night for a nice, clean, 2 bed, 2 bath room. 


For the Singapore leg, we could have stayed with my sister, but given we were there for a whole week, to have 4 x active boys and 4 x adults staying in a 3 bed place would have been a bit much.  So this was where we splurged and stayed at the Shangri La apartments.  The funny thing about this ‘splurge’ was that the rooms are actually pretty dated (although very clean) and the thing we LOVE about apartments is that 1) they are bigger with kids and they can have their own room and 2) we know from experience that we save a bomb by making at least some of the meals and doing our own washing. 


So our SPLURGE was the nice accommodation, but the SAVE was literally thousands of dollars 


How was it thousands? 


There is SO much washing in the Wood household.  Hubby and I are also exercise junkies so even on holidays we were wearing workout clothes – he was playing squash regularly and I was at the gym. 


And my kids need a full outfit change after most meals… I don’t know if it’s the age or if I have particularly messy kids. 


Another factor is that we don’t’ really own a lot of clothes.  I’m a sort of minimalist – I just think that owning heaps of clothes is a waste, so we tend to own small amounts. 


Anyway, washing can be $60- 100 to have laundered and given we push through on average 2 x loads a day- that can really add up over 3 weeks – about $2.5k is my estimate of how much we saved.  And for me, to throw washing in a machine, push a button go off and do something then hang it out is no big deal.  I’ve also found sometimes that hotels throw your clothes in a dryer and I’ve had things come back with marks on them so maybe I’m a bit fussy!  I’m in a phase of buying less clothes but higher quality so I like to look after them. 


We also saved thousands by buying our own food for many meals.  Buffet breakfast I’m pretty sure was $100 per adult.  Now I love a good buffet, but the reality is that most days I eat 2 x eggs, and my kids and hubby just have cereal or toast.  We also did quite a few meals where the kids would have a sandwich in the room, and I’d have a salad. 


Now we love eating out, so we certainly didn’t want to miss this experience/. We did eat out when we felt like it, but we also just weren’t wasting money for the sake of it if it was just as easy to eat at home. 


So over the holiday, again this would have saved us thousands.   


Another way we saved money was by rarely drinking out.  Alcohol is SO expensive, and especially in Singapore this can add up very quickly…. The reality is at this age and stage of our kids lives, we are not hitting da clubs.  Shan and I are as happy to put the kids down  to bed and have a glass of wine in the hotel room as we are to go out.  I estimate this would have saved us hundreds of dollars as well. 


Now maybe some of this feels low vibe to you… and I TOTALLY get it!   


The thing I love to teach about is uncovering YOUR money values.  What is important to you?  And how can you live and make your investment decisions in line with it. 


I know we met one family travelling who said they would never wash their own clothes while on holidays.   


When I used to backpack when I was young and single, there’s no way I’d drink alcohol in my hotel room because I wanted to go out and meet people and dance.  So I used to stay in really cheap accommodation but spend my money out. 


So that’s the SAVE side of the coin…. 


Where we splurged on our holiday according to our money values


Let’s flip it over and talk about the ways that I SPLURGED. 


Well first and foremost, I stayed at some nice accommodation.  Not the most luxurious places or resorts we’ve ever stayed, but certainly beautiful venues. 


Secondly, we spent on experiences!  One thing I will never not do is do things I want to do while I am travelling.  I remember hubby and I went away and it was HUNDREDS of dollars but we did it anyway.  We figured you can’t not to the great barrier reef while you are there! 


Not that it was that expensive but Angor Wat in Siem Reap was a no brainer.  The Singapore Zoo etc. 


I also really wanted to do cocktails looking out over Singapore from Marina Bay Sands and eat at a swanky restaurant, so we left our kids with my sister’s helper, and me, Shan and my sister and her hubby went out and had cocktails, a beautiful meal at an amazing restaurant then headed out for more cocktails later.  It was $500 per couple for the night but was well worth it! 


The other big splurge was flying Business Class.  And actually paying for it, not using points.  With my neck injury I was worried about the overnight flight back, so hubby and I decided to fly a leg each way with the other sitting in cattle class with the kids.  This was my first ever experience flying business class international. 


When it comes to the areas to save or splurge in your life… I don’t believe there is a right or wrong.  Everyone will value and prioritise different things. 


As we approach the new year, I encourage you to approach your finances with INTENTION.   


To be making your choices about how you spend money mindfully rather than getting your bank statement and thinking WTF happened. 


Intention is my word for 2023.   


When it comes to your business… are you being intentional with the way you invest vs save money? 


Or do you go to pay for something and hope like hell you have enough money for it. 


Or do you just spend and spend because you feel unworthy of the income you are earning? 


If you know that 2023 is the year you want to finally master your money, I’d love to invite you to join my 3 day challenge- spend vs save – how to explode your profit in 2023.  It’s a live 3 day training where I”ll be teaching you how to avoid the money mistakes I see a lot of people make and how to focus on big profit growth instead. 


You can find out more and join via link in shownotes. 


There’s no right or wrong when it comes to how you spend vs save.  The key is to be intentional with what YOUR values are and ensure that you are making decisions in alignment.


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