No Savings? So, What? (Part 2 of 2)

14 02 2010

In the last installment, we explored how you can barter your time to achieve your goals and desired experiences.  Today we will look at how to apply the same principle to your stuff and skills.

Stuff – We all have too much of it.  Stuff ties you down and a lot of it should be paying you rent for the amount of space it takes up.  Your junk is someone else’s treasure, so sell off the extras on Craigslist to make some pocket change (we’ve made several hundred dollars selling extra books and miscellaneous items that we didn’t really want or need).  Alternately, barter your stuff for something that you can really use (a la Kyle MacDonald) or get yourself some good karma by donating or giving away your extra stuff.

Skills – Everyone is skilled at something.  My husband envisioned us subletting an apartment in Miami Beach for 4-6 weeks at the end of the winter once he left his job.  I always wanted to live in the Caribbean and experience one of its luxury, all-inclusive resorts.  I have also always wanted to be an aerobics instructor.  I’m a people person and liked the idea of round-the-clock activities, socializing and fantastic food in the Caribbean.  To me, this seemed like a much better option than starting new in a sublet apartment in Miami, trying to meet people and get settled down there for such a short time period.

The only problem was that these resorts and particularly the one that I wanted to go to were exorbitant in price and way out of our budget.  I did some research, picked my top three resort choices and pitched the following to the respective managers: Let us stay at the resort free of charge for 4-6 weeks and we’ll run exciting programs for you for part of the day.  Our skills are X, Y and Z and we’d be happy to offer sessions or events based around them.  A few phone calls and e-mail exchanges led to first choice resort flying us down to the Dominican Republic where they will put us up in a beachfront apartment on the resort, cover our insurance, laundry, food, drink, etc. and treat us like guests on the resort.  We’ll each be working 1-2 hours a day – I will be teaching Spanish, aerobics and yoga, and Jay will be teaching an afternoon astronomy session and leading an evening walk under the stars after dinner each night.  The resort is ordering the astronomy equipment that he needs and we’ll have at least one day off each week.  Skills, check!

Bottom line:  Savings are important but if you don’t have them right now, that’s not the end all-be all, make or break factor.  Even if you do have savings and have decided to take some time off, that doesn’t mean that you need to start spending early on!  With a little creative thought and by reviewing the options above, you may be able to land yourself the experiences that you want without laying down the big bucks.

posted by amybetho

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6 responses

14 02 2010
Freely Living Life

Bravo! I can’t begin to express how refreshing it is to meet and read about like minded folks like ourselves! As you have mentioned in previous comments on our website, we really do have a lot in common. When you want something bad enough just set your sights on it and DO IT. 🙂 We wish you nothing but the best out here! We look forward to the day we meet in person.

15 02 2010
amybetho

Thanks so much for the encouragement! We love following your stories and are delighted to share our adventures with you.

Looking forward to the enthralling mobility that RV life will offer and to meeting you on the road!

22 02 2010
Domingo

Enjoying the read… I’m going to have to sharpen my salsa teach skills and see if I can get a “free” stay at the resort! 😉 Nice! I’m glad that worked out for you two.

23 02 2010
amybetho

@Domingo: It would be incredible if you came down here. And it definitely wouldn’t hurt that I would have a salsa partner, too! I know that Uncle D can be nice at times, but this place is warm, sunny and people are happy. The ocean beckons whenever you’re ready… 🙂

24 02 2010
Adi

Guys, I love your blog! I’m so excited for you and look forward to hearing about more adventures!
Adi ❤

26 02 2010
amybetho

@Adi: Thanks, dear. I’ve never been as much of a blogger as you, Tzippy and the rest of the crew but there are so many incredible things happening each day and I’m excited to share them with you all! xo

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