"A fool and his money are soon parted."
- Thomas Tusser
This Cote d’Ivoire girl is coming today to visit and travel a week or two with me in Ghana. I am afraid of three things, and one is a showstopper.
1. Age, maybe she wants to do young things like turn up the music, when I want to read a book, not truly a big problem, but it is reality.
2. Education, it is easy to have a two-hour conversation, when you spend 24 hours, seven days a week together, huge differences in world knowledge and education can cause problems. This is not normally a problem with girls from underdeveloped nations; they do not feel a need to compete the way an American or European girl is compelled.
3. Money --- The showstopper, by this I mean, when there are arguments over money, soon there is a parting of the ways. The show stops and everyone goes home…
Takoradi, Ghana West Africa --- Thursday, December 30, 2010
I happened to read today an article titled:
"10 Things we Overpay For?"
I read the list:
A caffeine fix
A night at the movies
Fruits and veggies
Fax and mail service
This is really a list of 10 ways to identify people incapable of Budget Travel
I thought to myself, why doe this writer says "we," I do not overpay for these items. I know, he does not want hate mail, he or she knows, if he acts like we are all in this together, the readers will not get angry, this is a writer ploy to be coy.
What the list is really saying to me.
I am quite sure, that all of us overspend on one or two of the items on the list. However, there are people regularly overspend on five or more of the items on the list. This is a simple list and a person can observe friend, family, business associates and lovers. If the person regularly overspends on these items, it unlikely this person can save money or stay in a travel budget.
I am intrigued when a reader wants me to spend money to live in an expensive hotel, I think to myself, that is over budget. I do not think treat myself, I just think, that is over budget and off limits, a true budget is a line in the sand that cannot be crossed, it is not very flexible, or it is not a budget it is a silly mind game. There is something greedy, needy and worrisome about people who overspend, they worry me, are they ok?
I overspend when I have no choice, when I am in a tourist trap and cannot escape. The splurge mentality is an addiction, always splurging, never saving, it is the American way. When do people stop spending, when the money is gone, that is the normal travel budget. I am a perpetual traveler, and on endless vacation because I live within my means.
Solution to a Girl Spending my Money Problem
I will give X amount of money to the girl per day, this will be her money to spend as she likes, if she spends it foolishly, then it is her choice. I will give her an allowance, if she saves the money and uses it wisely, I will know there is no need for an allowance, if she spends it foolishly, then we are not going to be friends for long.
"A fool and his money are soon parted."
"I soon part from people who spend money like a fool."
I do not keep a strict budget, I have strict top limits, I spend under 15 dollar per day for rooms, food is about five dollars per day, or one to two dollars per meal, I seldom drink soft drinks, I gave up drinking sugar water when I was 16 years old, I only drink soft drinks to be sociable.
There is a belief in Africa, that white people do not care how much money they spend, that money is not important. It is more prevalent here, than in South America or Asia. I am extremely wealthy compared to the average African person, I never forget this, and for that, I am grateful, I was a lucky sperm.
However, where did they get the opinion that whites do not care about money? Well, it is possible they have been watching all the United Nations, Project Workers, and save the world NGO’s and Missionaries. These groups did not earn the money; they are spending other people money as if it was a never-ending source, coming from fools. Oops…
A dollar saved, is worth three dollars earned, it is ten times easier to save a dollar, than to earn three.
I know that in the realm of travel I am but a mere tourist, but I am wondering what your thoughts are when it comes to people begging for money. In general I don't feel guilty when I don't give to beggars, I do give what I consider to be a generous percentage of my income to different charities, but that doesn't relieve me from feeling sorry for the person who is begging. I have seen in your videos that almost everywhere you go in Africa people are asking you for money. I find your answer of "next week" humourous, but doesn't get you down having to repeat yourself so often?
HI Andy. Good blog. Too many people limit their options in life by spending too much for almost everything. I try to watch my money and expenses when I travel. Soon I will go west of the dateline again.
I think when Royalty says we, they are referring to the entire nation. They and I try not to consistently use the word I so much. It sounds like bragging. And I never ever want to be thought of as bragging about myself. It just is not me.
My travel plans for 2011 do include Costa Rica and NIcaragua. Reading your blogs is one of the high points of my day.
John you do not feel guilty, but you feel sorry for beggars.
Ok, I have compassion for beggars, and treat them with respect. Travel has clarified in my mind that beggars are NOT NOT NOT good people with a rough time who need money.
I feel the most compassion for the crazy beggar, the looney tunes.
I have beggar rules, I wrote a travel tip about 10 year ago, that goes like this, if the beggar is not missing a body part, maybe a leg or eye, then no money.
I am a recovering alcoholic, people helped me to stay drunk for a long time by removing the pain of my actions. They helped me when they felt sorry for me, this enabled me to stay a drunk longer.
If you can get a real clear view of a beggar, pain is truly a great thing. Look at a beggar and ask the question,
"If this beggar stopped receiving money, would he or she be motivated to work?"
If this would not work, then I ask the question,
"It is the responsibility of the culture and country to take care of these people?"
Enabling kills people and countries, every time you send money to Africa, they just believe someone is coming to save them and why work hard.
Beggars or Americans, not a big difference, everyone wants something of me, of us, or them, they just say it in a different way. Coca Cola drills me, buy coke,
I am bombarded by people trying to influence me.
I told my friend Mark on the phone in a moment of clarity.
"Africa is a sinking ship, and people are all wanting to jump off before it sinks."
This is how it feels, the sad part, they have more opportunities here than other continents. Just an average business person could earn great sums of money here, because they are surrounded by horrible business people.
In the USA we search for the one idea that will set us apart, in Africa they all copy the next door neighbors business, innovative ideas are not sought, I do not know why.
People on a sinking ship wait for help to come, and often forget to swim or get into the boat.
Note: If you give to a beggar, give big, I mean enough to buy a meal, do not give small coins, if the person truy needs help, than help, do not play around.