Leakage - Losing Small Money
This foreign country not having change is costing me about one dollar per day. It is very annoying to hear a vendor say,“No change.”
The human brain works as a computer 100 times better than my laptop. The brain automatically in our subconscious is sorting through all the data it receives and trying to access meaning. I found myself using the term “Leakage” in a video I was making.
Recently, here in Lome, Togo the brain was getting angry and frustrated; it realized and said to me,“Andy, you got a leak in your pocket, and money is falling out.”“Andy, stop the leak, this is crazy.”
Frustration that slowly turns into stream of small angers prompts me to try to find solutions. If I can shut off the frustration, then my life will be better.
I made a video below about me going to the bank and exchanging large denomination notes for small one. I am in West Africa, using the CFA. This is like going into a USA bank with a 100 dollar bill, and walking out with 100 one’s.
Leakage is when money escapes your grasp and control, because of unanticipated expenses, or conveniently tempting ones.
Examples of Leakage:
1. The vendor has no change, so you either buy more, or buy something at another vendor to get change. You buy something to break the big money into small money; you did not need to buy this.
2. Hotel with Swimming Pool Leak - There is a bundle of benefits to every hotel, and often, we can rent a room that cost 100 dollars that have amenities we have no ability to use. Business people spend billions of dollars per year living in hotels that have 50 times more benefits than they will ever use, but is part of the package. They have no need for a swimming pool.
Rent a hotel that has what you need, this saves tons of money leaking out of your pocket. Personally, I do not want a bar to be inside my hotel, restaurant and bars are extremely noisy, especially in the boutique, or bed and breakfast ones, a disruption to my sleeping. I save 50 percent by living in hotel without bars or restaurants, and yes, I know they are conveniently expensive.
3. Airport wrapping of bag --- I arrived at the Dominican Republic airport, and they did not like how I bundles one bag onto another bag with rope. They forced me to get it plastic wrapped, costing me 10 USD. This is an organizational leak of mine, I am in the process of solving my luggage leak, I need an expandable backpack.
4. I am bored out of my brain at the airport, and I stop into a coffee shop and buy a 5 dollar cup of coffee, just for something to do. This is a horrible use of money. I paid five dollars to sit down; I often use my one cup electrical water heater to make coffee inside the airport. Now with the Kindle, I can read a book and not search for something to do.
I often play a game inside airports, I try to find the biggest temptation spending fool; airports are great place to study human nature, and learn why Americans and Europeans are going broke. Airports are examples of human behavior at its financial worst, spending money as an endless splurge.
5. I enter into a restaurant, and order French Fries, I love them. She looks at me,“What do you want to drink?”I sometimes get something, aagh, this is leakage extraordinary.
First of all, I do not need to drink sodas, they are fattening, and full of sugar, and huge money makers for restaurants. The real, intrinsic value of a soda is about 10 cents, not 1-3 dollars.
For about 10 years, I have walked in, purchased my food, and refused the drink. The waitress almost always gives me this look of disgust. If in the course of the meal, I become thirsty, I order a drink. By stopping this leak, I save over 1000 dollars per year.
6. McDonalds is built around the concept of leakage, instead of buying food at the grocery store, we stop for quick convenient food. I was a real estate broker inside the USA, and drove around the city of Fort Wayne at least 4 hour per day. I discovered I was spending money at the gas stations, or fast food places.
I realized, I enjoy walking though super markets, and instead of McDonalds or the Gas Station, I stopped into the Supermarket for snacks, and stopped a leak that was costing me 1-3000 dollar per year.
7. Purified Bottle Leak - I see many people walking around with a one-liter bottle of water. I buy five gallon bottles, and if I needed to carry water, I would refill a one-liter bottle. A hotel that provides me with 2-3 liters of free water per day saves me over 1000 dollar per year. When, I see a traveler with a bottle of water in their hands, I normally avoid them, I know they not very savvy, not much use in my life for the great masses of lemmings in my world. I look for wise, and astute travelers, not the people who spend money foolishly, for no real sound reasons. They always say, it is not a big deal, the same as the U.S. Congress mentality on all their make work programs.
The amount of money that leaks out of ones pocket is amazing, and the credit cards companies are not helping. We distance ourselves from real money; we make it an illusion thing, and then complain when we run out of money.
Video explaining how I stopped the “No Change Leakage” here in Lome, Togo West Africa
ThanksAndy Graham in Lome, Togo, West Africa
I can afford to travel anywhere on the planet, because of good budgeting skills by stopping money leaks.
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An application to track all transactions
I use an app called Visual Budget. One of the accounts is called Cash Wallet and it shows where I spent cash.
Lots of other apps out there. They run on smartphone such as Iphone or android. Does anyone use a smartphone in Asia?
I try to not waste money when I travel but at the same time I will buy something overpriced simply for the connivence.
I also will treat myself to a very good meal at times because I enjoy really good food. Its extravagant but then life is short
and as long as I can afford it at times its worth the extra cost.
Andy you really got it right this time. I am enjoying not having to buy water here. You can drink the water right out of the tap. And all the hot water and ice is free.
I need a snack when I travel so I just put some in my carry on bag. Maybe a small bag of cheetos, or nuts and a couple cup cakes for eating on the airplane with coffee. And I carry my own little tea bags and sachets of San Miguel Coffee. But if I need to eat something big I usually get a subway sandwich or some hot noodle dish if I am in Taiwan or Japan.
And I try to always have change. For taxis, jeepneys, and little things. I like to think that I am getting a little wiser as I get older. LOL
I could explain how many luxuries I have, but why?
I got a pedicure on the beach yesterday for one dollar, it was a luxury for me. But funny, all the Togo people appear to have manicures and pedicures, and we think they are poor... hehehe - What we cannot afford, the do as normal.
I can live anywhere on the planet, and may soon live in Paris to help my French, I am not in Africa to save money, I here because I want to be here.
I save a penny, and the dollars are no problem.
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