Money Talks, So Should You

Balancing Act: Weighing financial priorities while traveling

Esther Goh
by Esther Goh , Dimespring 30 (@eemusings)

My partner and I have always had very different financial personalities. I like to save, he likes to spend. I'm all about experiences (mainly food and travel) while he likes shiny new things (a human magpie). Back home, even though I earned a bit more, he was the bigger spender by nature. On the road, things are a little different, but I'm still the penny pincher.

So how do our different priorities manifest while traveling?

READ: 10 techniques for staying healthy while flying

Honestly, I think I'm a pretty good budget traveler. I can sleep basically anywhere and I'm not afraid of street food. Even if I wasn't budget-conscious, I think I'd naturally manage to keep costs pretty low.

Things haven't been so easy for the hubby, though. Roughing it in Asia has been harder than expected.

For one, he's a big guy by Western standards, and a veritable giant here. Tucking himself into a train sleeper bunk or a cramped minivan = hours of discomfort, and a dose of moaning to go with it.

For another, the heat is really taking its toll, and a room with A/C (as opposed to a more budget room with just a fan) is practically required for him to get a decent night's sleep. Oh, and he's constantly hungry, burning through food seemingly within minutes, plus his penchant for Coke, juice and other non-water drinks has only intensified in the heat.

READ: How to charm your way into first class on your next flight

So while Asia is still a very cheap place to be, it's definitely proving pricier than I anticipated so far. Right now, I'm trying to plan our next move; taking the train would be the cheapest, while flying would be much quicker but more expensive. The train is reasonably comfortable, but I'm not sure he agrees with that sentiment.

Striking a balance between our budget and his comfort is going to be a bit of a tightrope walk, I think.


Esther is a 20-something writer and editor from Auckland, New Zealand, trying to balance living for today with saving for tomorrow. Esther is a member of the Dimespring 30, a community of bloggers sharing their thoughts, experiences and perspectives on personal finance.