Money. This is the one main reason why men like you and me go to great distances to earn more leaving our families behind. It is the oil that keeps our life moving. It is also the determining factor of who we are in today’s standards. Deprived of it, we would feel helpless against life.
But don’t get me wrong. Money is not the most important goal in life. It is only a tool to be used. Having raised our standards because of a raise in income often ends in pain if money is utilized irresponsibly.
Trainings, reviews, food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, cars, insurance, gambling, vacation, expensive hobbies and many others compete for a portion of our income. When we come home after a nine month contract, our hard earned money often flows freely out of our pockets. If not checked, we could lose it in just a month or two. It doesn’t matter how big the salary we accumulate but how much is left after the day ends during vacation.
It is important to check our financial impulses regarding the way we use money. Here are some tips on how to do it.
1. List all your daily, weekly and monthly expenses up to the last cent of each transaction. Your spouse should be able do this even if you are on board. And seafarers should do the same including their slopchests and shoreleave expenses. There must be no secrets. Compare your expenses at the end of each month.This will be helpful in the second step which is to…
2. Create a budget. Depending on how you spend your money on step one, your budget is also reflected on this step. A healthy budget is composed of Operational Expense Fund, Emergency Fund, Investment Fund and Tithe Fund. Sometimes, Vacation Fund is helpful too.
3. Note how much is coming in and going out of your pocket. Money is a limited resource. Once your contract is finished, so does your income. So it is vital to keep a proper look out of where your money is going. As you go through your budget, it is important to identify which purchases you can cut in order to save more money and what sidelines you can do to earn.
4. Note how many trainings you’re going to undergo on your next vacation. Write it in a piece of paper and set aside a few portion of your money for this every month. Also include your everyday fare, snacks, pocket money and boarding house if ever you need one. Don’t worry about it’s accuracy. A rough estimate is enough as long as you have something to follow thru.
5. Consider a work, sideline or business for your wife. Most seafarers want their wives to stay home and be a fulltime mom. There’s nothing wrong with that but consider her potential to earn for the family. While taking care of your children, she can engage in online freelance jobs. She need not go to an office since everything is done over the internet using her free time. Facebook and other social media is also a wonderful tool for starting a small business.
The reward for saving money is often underestimated or overlooked. It is during the “I-don’t-know-where-my-money-went,” moment that we truly realize its importance.
You can help our fellow seaman by sharing your insights on this matter. What’s your number one Tipid Tip in saving money during vacation?
May the winds be on your favor.