Making the most of your time ‘home’ is a perennial expat challenge. This year is going to involve two trips back to Mr B’s home country, no mean feat financially. Mr B stumbled across the 52 week saving challenge over the Christmas break and we’ve each decided to give it a try. It involves putting aside the Euro/Pound/Dollar amount according to the week of the year that you’re in. So in week 1, you put 1 Euro etc in a jar. Like all brilliant things, it is the simplicity of the idea that we love and the possibilities it gives us in terms of travel plans this year.
We’ve decided to do it in reverse (so starting at week 52) primarily because Belgian employees receive their ‘13th month‘ of pay in late December which means we have a little extra cash at this point. Historically, the 13th month was designed to help families through the expense of the Christmas season and to put extra money in pockets before the sales start in January (sales are limited by law in Belgium, as in France, only in January and July can retailers provide major discounts that are commonplace throughout the year in the UK, for example). You could argue that if the income tax rate in Belgium was not so eye-wateringly high, there would be no need for this odd re-adjustment system but that is a discussion for another post….
In any case, we’re excited at the thought of having some travel money to ‘play’ with. We were lucky enough to take advantage of airline sales for the first trip home so this jar will help cover expenses and might stretch to a weekend away, we’ll see. Mr B is going to use his for a stag party he has to organise in May/June for his best friend.
Are you doing the challenge? Where would you go?
Need more inspiration?