I had already made my book and music online purchases for my trip back home when I realized that there were two other books that I had forgotten. One minor setback — that actually helps with my personal finance — is that I always travel obsessive-compulsively light. I do not check in luggage, and I take only one reasonable carry-on and a computer case.
Between the incredibly efficient (yet probably not environmentally friendly) American washer/dryer technology and already having a stockpile of underwear and toiletries back home, I really don’t need to pack much anyways. Thus when on the trip to the States, I basically just fill my suitcase with clothes that I no longer wear (I essentially retire or relegate them to my U.S. closet) and a few small gifts (if any). While in the States, I permit myself to purchase only a quantity of goods whose to volume is equal to the size of my reasonable carry-on.
Not only does this safeguard me against spending an absurd amount of time running errands to make random purchases for friends and co-workers in Europe, it also allows me to stay within a budget. The items that can accumulate and become costly are iPods and CDs. CDs don’t take up any space at all. Once I buy them, I reduce them to electronic format anyways and store them inside my computer. Ipods — much cheaper in the U.S. because of the weak dollar — are inevitably what everyone asks me for and also do not take up much suitcase space. I can also get iPods for a bunch of different people in just one trip to the Mall — for some reason, everyone I know thinks that there is an Apple store on every American street corner, and sending me out on an iPod and/or MAC shopping spree is like walking to the end of my driveway to pick up the mail.
Why am I telling you this? Continue reading