The Sole Sister's Guide to Saving Up for Your Escape Fund (Part 2)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Last week, Lois shared with you 5 great tips to save up for an escape fund.

I think it was relatively easy for my sole sister to fatten her piggy bank because she doesn't have a lot of unnecessary addictions vices expenses. Lois has always had a good head on her shoulders when it comes to money and saving up.

Unlike me.

I have NEVER, ever, saved up for anything my whole life. Some people call it a rainy-day fund. I ask: What rainy days? I dance myself silly on days like those. I revel in the rain! What's there to save up for?

Tsk. Do you see where this is going? I was a fashionista, a shopaholic, a party girl and a constant traveller. All of these equal to an absurd amount of money to sustain on a monthly basis. It's a bad combo especially if you want to save up 100,000 pesos worth of escape fund. In less than 6 months.

So, how exactly did we (especially ME) manage to cough up 100 grand for our escape fund?

Let me share 5 more tips that got us closer to our escape:

6. You Don’t Need More Stuff

Let me just reitirate tip# 4 especially for the shopaholics sole sisters out there, like a certain someone you know whose name rhymes with peachy.

Put down that chic dress that hugs your body and shows all the lovely curves that you didn't even knew you had. Put down that bag. And that shoe. Put it down slowly...slo-wly.

Why not put blinders on the sides of your face when you go to the mall? You might look weird (and people will look at you a little funny) but this will lead you not into temptation, ladies. Or better yet, do this one simple thing that I have proven 100% effective:

Don't go to the mall at all.
The commercialist goddesses have convinced you that you really need this item in the same way you need air. The truth is you don't really need that dress, bag or shoe. You probably already have a lot of them in your closet.

'But Chichi, it just looks so good on me! What if I never come across another perfect shoe like this in my lifetime?'

Believe me, I know that feeling. It's like deja vu for me. But before you pull out those ninoys, ask yourself this question, the same one I ask myself when faced with this dilemma:

How far will the cost of this shoe get me if deposited to my escape fund?

no bills
Photo Credit: urbandata
7. No Bills Policy

If Destiny's Child (they should've been named Beyonce and the other Children) called it quits with that good for nothing type of brother because of bills, you should also call it quits with your post-paid, cable, landline and any other billing companies that you currently have a relationship with. Get rid of those bills that aren't really necessary to your survival.

I cut down my post-paid mobile phone plan to P350 from a whopping P1,200 every month. If you do the math, I saved a total of P5,100 in the span of 6 months. Might not be much in Manila but I can live off this amount for a week in Saigon, Vietnam.

Over time, the amount you save from getting rid of those bills would definitely equal to more than that good for nothing type of brother.

Moonlighting8. Moonlight

Do you have any special skill that you can earn from? Do you sing as good as James Morrisson? Can you bump and grind on the dance floor like nobody's business? Know how to mix drinks? Can you breathe fire and swallow a sword whole?

If you said yes, then try finding a second job based on that special skill. This will help you earn more moolah to deposit to your escape fund. Admittedly, it will be tiring combined with your day job. Yes, you'll only have 4 hours of sleep each day. But we guarantee that when the day of your escape comes, all those sleepless nights will be worth it!

Unfortunately, both Sole Sisters don't have any special skills. Unless knowing the lyrics to Discovery Channel's 'I Love The Whole World' would count as a special skill. We didn't think so. We had no choice other than to create a blog and write about our mutual passion for traveling instead.

Although, we can really do a mean 'Boom-de-ah-da, boom-de-ah-da'.

every_dress_counts_29. Sell your Stuff

We can give this a fancy name like decluttering, embracing the art of minimalism or living a zen life. I called mine 'Every Dress Counts in Vietnam'. We can give it even fancier names but the point is to get rid of material possessions you don't need in order to add even more money into your escape fund.

Here's my 3-step program to decluttering:
  1. Start with 3 piles: Keep, Sell and Give.
  2. Remember the 3-month rule: Sell or give items that you haven't worn in the past 3 months or those items that you won't be using within the next 3 months. It would also be easier if you set a limit for your keep pile. For me, I limited myself to keeping items that would fit inside 2 medium-size suitcases.
  3. Sell the heck out of your stuff. Channel your inner salesman. Tell all your friends, colleagues, family and neighbors. Post your items on Facebook, on your website, eBay, Sulit or Craig's list. Sell all remaining items to ukay-ukay or thrift shops.

Photo Credit: acme
10. Fundraisers

Are your friends planning a going-away party for you? Is your birthday coming up soon? Is it nearing Christmas? Did you and your solemate just tie the knot?

Instead of material gifts, why don't you ask your loved ones to donate cash for your escape fund instead? Convince them by letting them know how far their donation would take you in your escape. Follow Mr and Mrs Globetrot's lead and create a travel registry for your wedding guests. Their loved ones "bought" them experiences in their travels rather than actual gifts.

Once you get back, it would also be nice if you can give them a souveneir as a token of thanks. I think that they would appreciate a sarong from Bali more than a blah thank-you card, wouldn't you say?

Creative independence
Photo Credit: Nattu
In the end, we've managed to save up P100,000 for our escape fund. In fact, we're starting our Southeast Asian backpacking escapade in less than 3 weeks!

Trust us when we say, you can DO it too! (We know, we sound like PRs for that famous shoe brand.) Follow this guide and we betcha you'll also be on your way to your own version of escaping in no time at all.

Do you have any more tricks in saving money? What's your escape going to be like? We'd love to hear from you!

Sole Sister Chichi

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13 sole trails

  1. the term 'moonlighting' sounds naughty. haha.

    Freelance jobs are really great ways to earn more. The skills I learned in blogging got me hired to work for different clients who need skills in blogging so this is already great girls! Your website actually serves as a portfolio already :D

  2. I love the travel registry star!! great idea for my wedding!

  3. Naughty naughty mind you have there Ed!

    You're the master at moonlighting Ed. You've got so many things going on, way to go! We're definitely looking at freelance writing when we're on the road or after. Thanks for the tip!

  4. I'm not sure if you saw that site called From Manila to Morocco. Pinoy couple who got married, created a site/travel registry for their friends to pick their 'gift' for the newlyweds. They fullfilld their Moroccan dream thanks to their friends and guests!

    You can also do a honeymoon registry :p

  5. Thanks Flip! We think there might still be a part 3 to this guide, we're on a roll.

  6. funny, i felt like listening to that track Sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann while reading this entry! lol

  7. wowow! if my computation is right, nasa SE Asia trip pa kau.. now im thinking to save more ^_^

  8. You're  right on the money Kathleen! Glad we helped keep your eye on the target.

  9. Hi Sole Sisters!

    I will be on a South East Asia backpacking trip too, on October 1-28. Right after I become jobless coz my Project is about to end. Pero grabe. Reading your posts make me want to go traveling for six months or longer too! However, bilang hindi pwede, focus na lang muna sa pag-iipon for the 28-day trip. Paborito ko ang moonlighting tip. Yan ang bago kong target ngayon. May panahon pa!

  10. Woohoo! Nothing excites us more than hearing that someone's about to embark on a SEA adventure. 28 days is still better than nothing Gera, make the most out of it. Moonlighting is the key to your success, I believe.

  11. Just what I needed! :D Thank you!


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