We were at a travel show recently and began to daydream about what we might do if we didn’t have to live on our budget and had a bucket-full of money to spare. We have a good and happy life spending our £24,000 a year, we travel around Europe in our campervan, socialise, eat as much ice-cream as we need and go to the cinema and concerts pretty much when we want. Our frugal lifestyle isn’t exactly impoverished and we are content with the life we have because it is the one we chose. Although I find it hard to put myself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t need to watch the pennies [after 40-years of thrift] I have pushed myself to have fun playing the what-if game? So … what if a premium bond win or a surprise inheritance suddenly gave us an extra £10,000 to spend, what do I think we would do with it?
Topping up the contingency fund
No surprise here, we might be really boring and just add this to our contingency fund but that isn’t really playing the game is it?
Turns out if we had a chunk of money I would mostly want to use it to do something we certainly couldn’t do without the money and this is travel to see far-away friends. We have dear friends in the USA and in Australia and spending time with them would be such a wonderful treat. We have the time now and it is really only the cost of the flights that stops us packing a suitcase and going. Unfortunately, our current budget doesn’t quite allow for this trip on top of our European trips in our campervan.
The other trip that is hugely expensive but that I have on my wish list is taking the campervan to Iceland on the ferry [over €3,000 for 2018] but what a trip that would be; in my dreams we would spend a month or so touring around Iceland, just imagine …
3. A new home?
I am comfortable living in the less wealthy side of town where our neighbours are hard-working individuals who don’t go to work in suits but often leave early in the morning in a high-vis jacket; I like living alongside these down-to-earth folk. £10,000 wouldn’t be enough to make moving home worthwhile but double that might have us considering buying somewhere in the posher [and more expensive] part of town. We certainly wouldn’t be buying an expensive house boat on the River Thames.
4. A shopping spree?
Even with money to burn we wouldn’t start buying stuff. Would we buy a new campervan I hear you ask? Our current Devon Tempest works really well for us, is only three-years old and has done just 26,000 miles; this hardly merits replacement.
In my dreams I have enough money to be able to give a chunk of cash to one or more of my favourite local charities, helping them to be financially stable, and still have enough left over to shower my friends and family with gifts.
These might be harmless musings but it has spurned me on to start calculating the cost of my dream trip to visit our faraway friends. Having under-spent on our £27,000 budget by £3,000 in 2017 I might hang on to this dream by just a tiny thread. If we under-spend again in 2018 it might become a real possibility in the future.