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The One Thing You Should Spend Your Money On

The One Thing You Should Spend Your Money On

I’d always saved up every penny I earned.

For several reasons:

  1. My parents are both hardcore savers who taught me to stash my paychecks for the bigger things in the future.
  2. I started building my career 3 years ago and haven’t made much.
  3. I happen live in one of the most expensive places in America — Silicon Valley.

Because of this, I became more frugal with money and would only buy what I needed, which was groceries, gas, and utility bills. Everything else? Straight into my savings.

counting_money

    Of course there were times when my friends would ask me to eat lunch or dinner with them, and I’d get very tempted. But instead of spending $20+ on a meal (and possibly a drink afterwards?), I’d suggest coffee. I figured it was a good middle ground to satisfy both our interests. They’d have a companion to eat with. I’d have extra money in my pocket.

    Now I knew saving money was a good habit, but what was I saving for?

    A home? A car? My wedding?

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    Everyone aims for those achievements nowadays. And the thought of spending decades of my life working for things that are now considered “standard” by today’s expectations no longer inspires me to work (as) hard.

    Not to mention, our value of these things drop every passing year. Just think, are you going to be raving about your new home or car in the next 5, 10 years?

    Probably not.

    The thing is, too many of us in our 20s-30s focus too much on working and saving up every dollar that we forget how precious our youth is. We exhaust our minds. We sacrifice our health. We succumb to what everyone wants, simply because we believe that’s what makes life fulfilling.

    Only to realize, it’s not.

    Luckily, I’d found one thing that has made my life more meaningful and keeps me hard at work. And the best part is, it’s realistic with my budget and gives me a much longer payoff than the most expensive thing you can find on the market.

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    Travelling.

    Jeshoots_travel

      At first, I was shocked to see $4,500 on my bank statement. I mean I wasn’t there to splurge for fun, but mainly to work for my startup.

      But as soon as I thought about all the things I’d learned from my trip in the last 3 months, it made every dollar seem well spent.

      My experiences in a nutshell

      I learned how to protect my valuables from pickpocketers
      From what people told me, I had to be extra careful around the places I stayed: Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand), and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).

      I learned that Southeast Asia has a ridiculous number of coffeeshops and cafes, almost one on every corner. AND they offer free wifi! Surprisingly, many restaurants offer free wifi too (super convenient if you want to eat and work in one place).

      Luka
        One of my favorite coffeeshops in Thailand: Luka.

        I learned Uber is the cheaper ride option, but Grabtaxi has more reliable drivers.

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        I learned Cheapflights offer the cheapest flight deals.
        My cheapest trip was $63 from Thailand to Vietnam.

        I learned how to take the subway train and Skytrain without getting lost (after the 8th time).

        thai_skytrain
          The BTS “Skytrain” in Bangkok, Thailand.

          I learned to trust my gut more than the mouths of locals. 
          Usually, they’d lead me towards the wrong direction when I asked where [restaurant/coffeeshop/train stop] was or show me the wrong item in the store. And that’s because we had a huge language barrier, so most things I’d say would be misinterpreted.

          I learned over 50% of Malaysians are Muslim.
          That explains why a lot of Malaysian restaurants displayed signs with “pork-free!”

          malaysia_cafe
            Locals enjoying a midnight snack at a cafe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

            I learned that Thai people are some of the nicest, most laid-back people you’ll ever meet in the world. They don’t judge you based on your ethnicity or your beliefs. In fact, they thought I was one of them (even though I’m Chinese). :)

            bulan_me
              My Thai BFF and Airbnb host—one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

              I learned you can negotiate 20–30% less from the original price in Thailand. And that walking away isn’t an effective strategy to help you seal the deal.

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              I learned theft is more common in Vietnam. If I walked into a supermarket, an employee would fasten a cable tie on my backpack zippers and cut it when I got to the register. That was to prevent stealing.

              vietnam_theft
                How Vietnamese prevent shoplifters in supermarkets.

                Travelling gives you more stories to tell, more friends to connect with, and experiences no one else could have.

                Isabella_Bruce

                  If I could go back, I’d have travelled earlier (in my early 20s). There’s just so much you learn as you walk down the streets, hop on the bus, eat at a cafe, and watch how people interact. Not many people in this world can afford this kind of luxury. So if you have the opportunity and money to, take it from me and book that trip you’ve been dying to go to.

                  After all, you only have one life to make the most out of yourself!

                  One Last Thing…

                  Mind if you do me a sweet favor, and share this article if you enjoyed it? It’d mean the world to me.

                  Featured photo credit: Ashley Schweitzer via minimography.com

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                  Tiffany Sun

                  Aspiring Writer

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                  Last Updated on August 21, 2018

                  30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                  30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                  Ah, camping. The great outdoors, the campfires, the food you’d never eat in civilised society: it’s a wonderful experience.

                  That said, things can get a little bit tricky when we are left to the mercy of Mother Nature. Here are 30 fantastic camping hacks you can use to make your camping experience as wonderful as possible!

                   1. Use sage to repel mosquitoes.

                  1dca4068e7ecfe1473e91457f8b87402
                    photoshelter.com

                    Place some sage in your campfire and the smell is sure to ward off any pesky mosquitos.

                    2. Liquid soap + cotton balls = no ticks.

                    7575e1c4546c5967d33eea08caa13422
                      crateandbarrel.com

                      If you or one of your fellow campers is having trouble with a tick, place the soap-soaked cotton on the tick for 20 seconds. The tick will eventually stop chewing and will come away with the cotton ball. If the tick was attached for a lengthy amount of time you may want to consider keeping it in a container so that you can test it for Lyme disease later.

                      3. Use an acorn cap as a whistle if you get lost.

                      86080da1468d1e75640e5f95b39ff558
                        smallhomebigstart.com

                        It’s remarkably easy to get lost whilst camping. Here’s a full tutorial on how you can transform an acorn into a whistle!

                        4. Corn chips for kindling!

                        ac73d007cd4eb6990b38fa305b29063b

                          Doritos are a great way to start a fire, just be careful!

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                          5. Use the rest of the chips for nachos.

                          c87cd05491ff02c45488dd428379dcb2
                            buzzfeed.com

                            Nachos are easy to pack, light and simple to make. Plus they’re incredibly tasty.

                            6. Use compact, microfibre towels!

                            Compact-Towels
                              rei.com

                              These towels are incredibly easy to store and dry within an hour of use. Buy them here.

                              7. Wrap duct-tape around your water bottle for emergencies.

                              enhanced-buzz-923-1396984158-34
                                briangreen.net

                                You never know when you might need some.

                                8. Make lamps out of jars and solar disks.

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                                  campwander.com

                                  Get all the info you need here.

                                  9. Sangria!

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                                    gastfamilyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk

                                    We know what’s really important. How to here!

                                    10. One water bottle will hold eight eggs.

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                                      cookiecrumbsandsawdust.blogspot

                                      By keeping all your eggs in a bottle you save time and hassle. Plus, no need to carry extra bowls or a whisk!

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                                      11. Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil is a surprisingly good mosquito repellent.

                                      enhanced-12773-1397067916-17
                                        buzzfeed.com

                                        Keep the bugs and the bug repellent smell at bay.

                                        12. DIY shower.

                                        enhanced-16017-1397075328-5
                                          instructables.com

                                          All you need is a watering can and a large jug. Here’s the full instructions.

                                          13. Keep sandpaper handy to light matches.

                                          enhanced-32158-1397313702-1
                                            craftaholicsanonymous.net

                                            Glueing some sandpaper to the lid of a tupperware box where you can also store matches is a foolproof plan.

                                            14. Make s’moreos easily.

                                            enhanced-buzz-6363-1396981075-4
                                              snackhacks.org

                                              15. MarshJell-o shots.

                                              enhanced-buzz-6378-1396984362-18
                                                tablespoon.com

                                                Learn how to make these delicious things here!

                                                16. Or dip those marshmallows in Bailey’s. 
                                                enhanced-buzz-10975-1396982782-16

                                                  Toast the marshmallow first and then dip it in Bailey’s.

                                                  17. Turn a bottle into a spoon.

                                                  enhanced-buzz-15463-1396984478-32
                                                    buzzfeed.com

                                                    It’s that easy!

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                                                    18. Grits repel ants.

                                                    1b3c626ef359f2d19775831415b1d129
                                                      sleepychef.com

                                                      Just sprinkle grits wherever you see ants.

                                                      19. Deodorant can be used to combat itchiness.

                                                      enhanced-buzz-16165-1396981994-13
                                                        wikihow.com

                                                        20. Wrap your meat in cabbage to stop it from burning.

                                                        enhanced-buzz-17457-1397055776-13
                                                          onesweetappetite.com

                                                          That’s not an innuendo, it really will! The moistness in the cabbage creates the perfect barrier.

                                                          21. Foam noodles will stop any injuries.

                                                          enhanced-buzz-17677-1396993405-8
                                                            andybaird.com

                                                            For any fellow clumsy people, you know how possible it is to smack your head and cause serious injury. Placing a foam noodle on the awning strut narrows down at least one accident waiting to happen.

                                                            22. Carry some essentials in a small tin with you at all times.

                                                            enhanced-buzz-20957-1397057774-5
                                                              fieldandstream.com

                                                              You never know what you’ll need and when.

                                                              23. Take toothpaste dots instead of a whole tube.

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                                                                ruggedthuglife.com

                                                                Let the drops dry out over 3 days, add a little baking soda and put them in a resealable bag.

                                                                24. Use a stick to secure your tent.

                                                                enhanced-buzz-27474-1396992113-18
                                                                  survivormedic.com

                                                                  By placing a stick in the main centre line you ensure the pressure is even throughout, which will stop the grommets being pulled out.

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                                                                  25. Vacuum seal your food before you leave.

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                                                                    livingonalatte.com

                                                                    26. Popcorn on the campfire.

                                                                    Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 13.42.59.png
                                                                      kookyculinary.com

                                                                      Popcorn that you can place on the stove at home can also be popped over a campfire. You can also make your own using this tutorial.

                                                                      27. You can even make bacon and eggs over it.

                                                                      Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 13.43.14.png
                                                                        realfamilycamping.blogspot.co.uk

                                                                        That’s right! Full instructions here.

                                                                        28. Keep your toiletries handy.

                                                                        shower-caddy
                                                                          myshowerline.com

                                                                          Buy this magnificent contraption here.

                                                                          29. Compact, unbreakable cups!

                                                                          silicone-cups
                                                                            reuseit.com

                                                                            Get them while you can!

                                                                            30. Tic-Tac boxes are great for storing ingredients.

                                                                            spices-tic-tac
                                                                              seattlesundries.com

                                                                              With these 30 camping tips and tricks, you can work DIY magic into nearly every aspect of camping, and make your next camping trip a comfortable, easy blast. Good luck!

                                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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