C-Jane and I just got back from Ireland. Many people have said, “WTF? We make twenty-times what you make in a year, and we can’t go to Ireland!” That is a true statement, if you’re a fry-cook for a fast-food restaurant, you made twice as much money as I did last year, I promise. It is said that 10% of all professional writers make over $10,000 a year; I am among the 90%.
So, how does a poor bastard like Big-J get to Ireland for a week? Part of it is savings from the evil hospital job that I foolishly/wisely left a couple years ago. But that is only marginal. Here are the major contributors to having a week long international vacation.
1) Ireland is hurting for money
Ireland has financially suffered like the U.S. is about to suffer. To help pull themselves out of their mess, they’ve offered awesome vacation packages to stimulate their economy. To get our great deal, we had to buy our package a year ago, but it was such a sweet deal that C-Jane and I couldn’t refuse. $1200 for both of us, covering hotels and breakfasts, transportation via tour bus, and visiting three cities including Dublin for Saint Patrick’s Day.
2) No cable/satellite television
By sacrificing this useless service, we’ve saved over $600 each year for the last two years. Not only did that cover the cost of our tour, but neither of us have been brainwashed, leaving us as free thinking people. We also suffer less from fear and anxiety than most Americans, thanks to the absence of constant media programing.
3) Basic phone plan
We do not have smart phones. We spend $125 less per month than the average American couple for phone service. This covered our air-fare. Verizon gives lots of money to political groups that are tricking us out of our rights. As free-thinking Americans, we want to limit their ability to continue giving our money to political groups that don’t represent the majority of Americans. Once our contract with them is over, we will find a cheaper phone plan and save more money for our next trip AND continue the fight to maintain our rights.
4) No debt
C-Jane has paid off her student loans at a great sacrifice—she worked, and as a result paid them. We own our cars and we rent an affordable apartment. People who watch cable/satellite TV tend to believe the lies about the value of owning a home. Barely 1% of all Americans own a home; it is the banks who own them—as proven by the thousands of loan defaults over the past six years. C-Jane and I cut our credit cards into tiny pieces years ago. We are free.
5) Economy cars
C-Jane has a hybrid Honda, I drive an Elantra. We average 37MPG and we try to go everywhere together making one big circular route to knock out our errands. We pay $60 per month on gasoline.
6) Waste reduction
We waste nothing. The average American throws away tons of stuff every year. We take home un-eaten food from restaurants, we eat out as little as we can, we cook at home, we plan our meals, we wear our clothes until they serve us no longer, we shop at farmers’ markets, and we rent movies through Netflix as opposed to shelling out $22 per movie.
7) No children
Enough said. We all choose how we live. C-Jane and I have chosen to go to Ireland with our limited money, not produce expensive rug-rats. I realize some people actually want children, and I believe that if the above six points were sacrificed as aggressively as we have done, you and your children could go to Ireland for a week. Hell, if you aren’t a writer, you’d have tons of expendable money.