Preparation Tuesdays, only slightly less painful than Preparation H!

 

I realize that a lot of people are interested in just how one moves to Europe from the States. This is a difficult task if you are not in the military, have a job that few in the world can do, or you are not in love with a European who is willing to sponsor you. Even meeting one of these simple requirements makes the task of moving your entire life across the Atlantic Ocean difficult. Each Tuesday, I plan to discuss the ways I have prepared to take this big step:
 
 
 
They say best things in life are free, but they wont move you to Europe. That’s right kids, you need money. For me, I needed money for my visa, about 1300 US. Money for my plane ticket about 1200 US, because of my adorable cat Atti, I needed to fly only certain airlines and I wanted a non stop flight. Money for Atticus’ vet bills. Enough savings for my insurance there for about 6 month and enough to continue paying off my student loans for 6 months. You see, with the type of visa I have, I can’t work until my residency visa is approved so my poor fiancee is stuck supporting my ass, 1950’s style for about 3 months, or longer until I can find a job. Any additional money I can save in my time here will go towards buying a new bed in Holland, trust me, we need it; and paying for our wedding, which will happen at some point in 2012. (Don’t rush me, one life changing step at a time). I will also need a new winters coat.

I just really started saving for my move in mid April. I had some other expenses I had to pay down first. I am really lucky that I have very little in the way of bills, about 500 a month, including my current car payment. Right before I went to Holland in Aprik, I moved back in with my mom, so that was almost an entire paycheck a month going back in my pocket. I am very lucky that my mom has been allowing me to live scott-free because she knows how much I miss Loek and the sooner we are together the better.

I have thee pieces of finical advise that have worked wonders for me. Even if you aren’t planning a transcontinental move, I think they can work for everyone. Here are my suggestions.

1. Know where your money goes. Write down all your spending for a month. I mean everything. I have a magazine obsession as well as a redbox dependency that I kicked to the curb after seeing how much money I was spending. Did you know that you can easily waste over $100.00 dollars in just eating your lunch out? Find out where you are hemorrhaging money and put a stop to it. Look for better alternatives, for example: I now check out magazines for free from my local library. A big place that you are spending money is probably where you live. If you are renting, do you really need a place that big? Probably not, just wait until I post pics of the size of my new apartment in Holland!

2. Pay yourself first, or out of sight out of mind. If you are like me, and you pay different amounts out of different paychecks, it might not work for you to have an amount directly deposited into a savings account each month. What I do instead, is work out a budget for each paycheck as to my expenses, some free just in case money and finally the amount I would like to save. I then schedule a transfer for the day I get paid so that the money will go into my savings account.
 

3. Have something you are planning for. You are not going to save nearly as much money if you start savings account just because you feel you should. For me, being able to be with Loek everyday is more important than a new pair of shoes or a few beers out at a restaurant. Have something in mind and you will be amazed at how easy tiny sacrifices can be to make.

What are some of the ways you save money? Leave a comment, seriously I would love some input here.

 

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Comments

Hey, Kaitlin.

I'm super impressed with your blog, first of all. I guess I never really knew that you were a such a good writer b/c I've never actually read your stuff. And I'm also impressed with this particular blog topic. Saving money is really hard for us. We manage our money well. We don't have a lot of debt and we work to pay things off as quickly as possible. But it's hard for us to keep much in savings. If we really had something to work towards, I'm sure we could make some more sacrifices. I think it's great that you are being so responsible and working so hard to make this transition! :)

That would be because I never showed you my stuff after I think, the 7th grade. You and Hayley made fun of one of my short stories. So I decided never again. Also, saving money is super tough. Another tip that works for me is visualization. I keep a calendar off how many days until I leave, that way I know how long I have to save. I plan on keeping up this method once I actaully move.  

That does sound like a good technique. And...what? What short story?!?!?! Well, I believe you, but I don't remember it! Obviously it affected you way more than I intended! I'm so sorry! :( But you are a good writer, and I'm saying it now! :) Hope that counts for something!!

There are three pillar of life money, power, position every person always want to achieve these point & the money is interrelated to everything but it is very difficult to maintain every time.
Regards,
Padded shorts

I too...recently had to curb my Redbox addiction! I was spending $50-60/month on the little devilish red kiosks. I'm still working on my food mag compulsive buys though (damn you Food Network celebs!). One thing me and my love have recently done is open up a paypal account so that we can both deposit money and save together; kinda like a joint account. We'll do this to save until I make the big move. We'll probably continue to save together for vacations and stuff.

I'm thinking of opening an ING account in the US. There isn't a way to link it to an ING account in NL unfortunately, but I think it will at least work in a positive favor. I can't get a job until I get a bank account though, which really sucks! 

I'm so pissed at the Euro-Dollar conversion! In 2009 I spent $650 for a RT ticket to DUS, which is pretty much the same travel distance on train as if I had flown into AMS. Prices haven't dropped at all...though I have seen some flights for around $950. 

I haven't even began the process with my cat! 

I feel ya, about the euro. I had an ing account, but it was just bought by Capital One and I don't like them very much. The Debt Ceiling had me nervous so I just bought some euros for my visa so at least that is covered. 

oh booo ING!