Pay yourself first! Why don’t we start #SavingSunday?

Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking & shared my thoughts on Facebook.

Saving Sunday

See ever since I returned home from my backpacking trip around the world I see things differently. During my travels I got to see how some of the rest of the world lives and returning home was shocking. I dealt with the reality of coming home after traveling the world and even though it’s been over 9 months I still have trouble being home every day. One of the things that was/is most shocking though is what a consumer driven society we have become and how it becomes more evident during the holidays. The holidays have turned into a spending/wasting money frenzy that is no longer about family and friends. We have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday & now Giving Tuesday. When are we going to have a day to pay ourselves? That is why I propose we come together and start Saving Sunday!

I’ve always told people sadly we live in a world that runs on money. You are going to need money for whatever you decide to do in life so why not save money for something you may need in the future? Even if you don’t know what it is you want it will cost money so why not save anyway?

  • Save to buy a car.
  • Save to buy a house.
  • Save to pay for school.
  • Save to travel (even if it’s a 2 week vacation).
  • Save to pay yourself first.
  • Save… just because.

The thing is we have been conditioned to believe that in order to be happy we must spend money on ourselves all day every day. That Starbucks Coffee is going to make me happy. That $300 name brand purse is going to make me happy. That new iPad Air is going to make me happy. This, that, or anything will make me happy. The truth is all these companies can care less what your financial situation is because they want your MONEY!!! It’s about the green and they want it all in their pockets. If they can’t have it they sure as hell don’t want you to have it at the end of the day to pay yourself first. They don’t care that you may not be able to afford it and may be living paycheck to paycheck with tons of debt. If that is your case you are a Modern Day Slave.

That used to be me, I lived paycheck to paycheck and thought I was so happy buying everything I didn’t need with tons of debt. It wasn’t until I got arrested for drinking and driving that I woke and realized I was miserable with the life I was living. From that moment on I told my self I would live my life on my terms and the rest is history. I got my ass out of debt, became a semi-minimalist  and started saving for my 2 year dream backpacking trip around the world. I have been documenting those changes and my travels on this blog for over 3 years.

It’s no secret that I want to get back on the road ASAP and since I have been home I have saved more than half my savings goal working a job that is only paying me $12 an hour. That lets you know it’s not about how much you make, but how you manage your money.

I know they aren’t going to like it, but lets make #SavingSunday the Sunday after all these crazy days made up by multibillion dollar corporations. Lets make it about bringing awareness to SAVING money so you can start paying yourself first.

Here are a few things you can do on #SavingSunday:

  • Stay home and watch a movie with the family.
  • Stay home and read a book.
  • Stay home and exercise.
  • Stay home and play games with the family.
  • Stay home and make a meal from what you have in your fridge.
  • Stay home and go over your finances.
  • Stay home and see what things that are costing you money you can get rid of.
  • Stay home and list all the unnecessary things you spend money on.
  • Stay home and gather all your change and start a change jar (I have a change vase).
  • Stay home and transfer $20, $50 or $100 to your savings account.
  • Stay home and see how you can get yourself out of the financial hole you may be in.
  • Stay home and de-clutter your living space.
  • Stay home and find out what you really want in life and how you can achieve it.
  • Stay home and don’t spend money.
  • Stay home and make #SavingSunday your financial wake up call!!!

If for some reason you can’t do any of the above or are not ready to start the Sunday after the shopping frenzy no worries; here is another savings game you can play and make it your New Years Resolution:


(I did not create this game. It’s a popular challenge that spreads online around the holidays each year.)

So I challenge you to  make a commitment and manage your money better and start saving. Lets make December 8, 2013 the first #SavingSunday and a holiday created by the people for the people. Lets turn this into healthy financial habits you can start making year round and not just on #SavingSunday.

Share this with your friends, family and everyone. Lets pay ourselves first and get back on track to the things we really need and are important in life. If you made saving a priority for anything you want in the future share your tips below. I’d love to hear them and like always if you need anything let me know and if I can help I will.


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  1. true fucking story! it’s sad how many people don’t even realize that they could be saving. lots and lots of money! and we all know money equals freedom, and conversely, debt is a prison. preach it! on a side note, i love exclamation points!
    Taylor recently posted..The Love Actually Drinking Game: Boozehound Edition

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thank you Taylor, I couldn’t have said it better “debt is prison” & I don’t think people see it that way, but it’s the truth. If you are living in debt you are living paycheck to paycheck & for what? To barely breathe. If people woke up and realized how much money is spent on stuff they don’t need they would be able to get out of situations they are in. I know it’s not easy for everyone and everyone has different circumstances, but ever bit helps. Oh & I love exclamation points too…lol!!!!!!

  2. What a brilliant game. Especially since I tend to be a fan of Sunday Funday which causes more drunken spending. I’m in!
    Jamie recently posted..That time I threw myself out of a perfectly functional airplane

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh Jamie, no joke SUNDAY FUNDAY used to be my favorite day of the week since I used to be off every Monday. Oh man I loved going out and blowing my money on brunch and then drinks at bar after bar. It was actually on a Sunday Funday that I was arrested for drinking and driving. Seriously had I never been arrested over about 4 or 5 years ago I would not be who I am today. I’m glad you’re in & if you need help let me know!!!

  3. This is such an excellent idea, Jaime! Being from the UK, the term Black Friday is quite new to me (Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday I’d never heard until just now!) and since there is no Thanksgiving celebrated here, it doesn’t mean much anyway…but I get the point. While I personally don’t engage in any crazy spending sprees (even for Christmas, I stopped giving and asked not to receive any gifts several years ago) it shocks me how much people get whipped up into the mindless consumerism of this time of year. Sometimes, it makes me despair at humanity. So I love your idea. Let’s do it!
    Sam recently posted..Guide to Lima

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thank you Sam, yes these are huge holidays now in the USA & they are crazy. What’s worse is they are all situated around a holiday where you are supposed to be giving thanks for what you have… THANKSGIVING. I know y’all don’t celebrate that there, but it’s crazy how Black Friday is now spreading around the whole world. Ahh consumerism at it’s finest. I’m not going to lie I used to partake in it years ago, but now it makes me sick to see what it’s become. People do really become mindless for consumerism and just spend spend spend. I am doing this so that hopefully it can bring awareness to our spending habits and how maybe we can all start saving and not give our money away to companies who are already rich and in the end don’t care about us. I have hope in humanity we can stop letting corporations run our lives.

  4. I live in São Paulo, Brazil which is now one of the most expensive cities in the world. But in some ways, that is a good thing. I have lost my desire to acquire new things. I have learned to make do with what i have. I have also learned all the tricks of saving money in such an expensive metropolis, which has been great fun. I am visiting the States and I am both marveling and shaking my head at all the crap that is available here. Full disclosure: I am buying a bunch of things to being back to Brazil because it’s all so cheap here in comparison. I haven’t really enjoyed it because all the consumerism is so IN YOUR FACE, but–and here is where I play the devil’s advocate– I know some people DO enjoy shopping. I know it is a hobby for some people. They save their money to buy things. So God bless the child, as Miss Billie Holiday sings. Whatever makes you happy. You like to go out drinking when you are on the road, right? Me, too. Some people might consider that a huge waste of money. They would rather spend their money buying souvenirs. So there is no right or wrong. Only what makes you happy. OK. I am done playing the devil’s advocate….anyway I read that you are planning to travel to South America. I hope you visit São Paulo. I got a permanent visa to be with my partner. It’s tough sometimes, but so worth it. I hope you can make Egpyt work to be with your partner. (Talk about saving money– to be in this type of relationship you MUST save money because the bureacracy comes at a high price….but like I said, it’s worth it.)

    • Jaime Davila says:

      HEY DAVID wow it’s been a while!!! I didn’t know Sao Paulo was now one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. My habits are now like yours, I have also lost the desire to acquire new things and rarely buy things I don’t need and learned how to save money no matter where I am at. I have actually heard about how expensive imported things are in Brazil so know many people who take suitcases of stuff back with them to Brazil for themselves, friends and family and even to sell. Oh & I agree I know for some shopping is what makes them happy, but mostly I am trying to send this message to people who love shopping but may be living in debt or not have any savings for an emergency or something bigger they may really want/need. I agree we all have what makes us happy and I laugh cus you know my dirty secret, I do like to drink when I travle so set aside extra cash for that along with just a magnet from each place I visit as souvenir. I know for some it may be a waste of money, but for me it isn’t. So I guess what I am trying to say like I have always been saying with my blog, find out what makes YOU happy and go for it. As for visiting South America yes that is next for me & I can’t wait. I have thought about getting in touch with you once the time get near and I know where I am going and what not. I’d love to meet y’all and see Sao Paulo. Huge congrats on the permanent VISA, that is amazing. As for my man in Egypt for now it’s all in the air. We are no longer together, but still talk just about every day, but yeah that is a WHOLE other story…lol!!!

  5. You can definitely stay with us in SP. I am living right in the middle of the craziest nightlife area in the world. (Madrid is number two). But my apartament is a refuge–lavender and eucalyptus and jasmine everywhere.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      EEEEEeee David you just got me so excited to visit Brazil. I had forgot that you lived in Sao Paulo. You know I am going to take you up on that offer? I have statyed with several of my readers and always had a wonderful time. I’ll be sure to hit you up when I know for sure when I’ll be down there and what not, because right now I have no clue. I just know wanna do Mexico for 3 months and then fly to South America. Well S.A. is huge so must plan a tentative route soon.

  6. Okay, so I totally agree with your sentiment in the post, however I must say that a lot of people save all year round for the great deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday…
    Andi recently posted..England & Scotland With Trafalgar: Day 4

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Oh Andi, I so know that and I think some of the deals you can get on those days are amazing, but what I don’t think people know is that most of the stuff they may be buying are things they don’t need. Instead of just wasting money why not save it for something they really need? I know it’s not everyone who does this and I know some people don’t care. I just want to bring awareness to the fact that most people living paycheck to paycheck can get them selves out if they really tried.

  7. You’re awesome Jaime! SO true, we do NOT need all these THINGS. I don’t have nearly as much stuff as I did when I lived in the US a few years ago, and having to move showed me just how little I need. I wasn’t willing to pay to ship things over to Germany, so I knew I had to be able to pack and bring it all on the plane, though I did it over a few trips. Even now I think I have too much, and I want to do a purge this spring/summer. Because of all of this, I have a hard time spending money on things. I barely have enough summer clothes to get through a week, I only have a few pairs of shoes, and we don’t have a lot of stuff cluttering up our apartment. I will admit a weakness for food though. We have spent so much on food (ok and alcohol) during our time in Berlin, but it’s hard to resist trying new things. There are so many great international restaurants in Berlin that we don’t have at home in Freiburg. But that’s besides the point. It’s not as hard as it seems to look at what you spend money on, cut back and save. All those THINGS won’t make you happy.
    Ali recently posted..The East Side Gallery in Photos

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I feel just like you Ali. You know I got rid of just about everything I own before I left and since I’ve been back I haven’t bought much and when I do it’s something I need or will actually put to use. As for spending on going out for dinner and what not I think that’s fine because you are spending it on time with friends and loved ones you know? So I’m not saying cut it all back, just realize you should pay your self first for what ever it is you want in life down the road. Just a wake up of what will really make you happy and what you can do if you make it your goal.

  8. Cheers to a brilliant idea! People tend to get so focused on spending, that they forget to save for themselves. It never fails the amount of people who will approach me about traveling and ask me how I can afford it. I tell them I have made it a priority to save for travel. Then they tell me they can’t afford it. Which isn’t true! Anyone can save… 🙂
    Lina@ Divergent Travelers recently posted..Day Hiking in the Amazon Rainforest

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Thanks Lina, that is EXACTLY how I feel and I get asked all the time… how do you do it? I tell them, make it you priority and you can make it happen too. Anyone can really save.

  9. Love this post from top to bottom. So glad you’re part of our tribe and that you think this way!
    Kent @ NVR recently posted..What We’re Taking Away from 2013

  10. So true! I’m glad you shared this – people always say, “oh you’re so LUCKY you have money to travel…” etc, when they are living with all the latest and greatest things. It’s not luck (well after being born into a wealthy society) so much as it is pinching pennies where you can and saying no to unnecessary things. I think I’ll try that savings game!

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Chantae, EXACTLY it’s not luck it’s hard work and determination. Cut off what you don’t need and focus on what you really need to get what you really want.

  11. Hey Jaime, it was really interesting to go through your post, and to tell you the truth I found the idea pretty unique as well as effective one. What I feel is, season sale has always been a trend and people usually don’t like to be exceptions and that is why they go on buying things those are not that much essential.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I so agree with you Sussan, how people don’t like being the exception. People should want to be the exception and be who they really wanna be. It’s hard I know, but it’s possible. I get crap all the time from people who just don’t understand me. I smile and carry.

  12. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been really frustrated recently by all of the posts on how to get the best gift for X type of person and wondering who is going to finally speak to how wasteful most of these gifts are. People who are in the mindset of a consumer culture won’t be able to change on their own–but for those of us who travel a lot it makes it easier to see how necessary these changes are.

    • Jaime Davila says:

      I’m happy you enjoyed this Kara, it’s how I feel too. It’s hard to show people just how useless half the stuff they buy really is. It’s not something you can really teach. It’s something I think people have to realize on their own. So it’s why I share this and hope they learn sooner rather than later.

  13. I think #savigsunday is a kick-ass idea. As you say, no corporation (and most governments) would support it, but it’s a great principle to spread around.
    Time and time again, I am amazed at how people think I “splurge” because I travel around the world full-time. I think they are the one’s “throwing away” money in meaningless stuff. More stuff, and more stuff… cluttering their houses, their lives, cutting down on their freedom of movement and, above all, not necessarily increasing their levels of happiness.
    Saving is a great practice.. anything great in life (like starting to travel) takes a certain level of sacrifice. Avoid spending on something small in the present, save up and do something greater in the future – it’s that simple. Plus the moment people get “out there”, start traveling and see other realities around the world, they’ll realize how this meaningless consumerism is even emptier than they thought.
    Saving towards experiences instead of things is the way to go – long live #savingsunday!! 🙂

    • Jaime Davila says:

      OMG ZARA EXACTLY!!! Ahhh you so know how I feel. I agree with everything you just mentioned and wish people would realize that.

  14. That is some food for the thoughts! And this saving chart is impressive!
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs recently posted..Friday Lens Affair #50

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Yeah most people don’t realize how they could save a little each week and add up to a lot down the road.

  15. Hey Jaime,

    Well said! I am going to try “Savings Sunday” I think that’s so clever and makes so much sense. I plan for my Sunday Savings to be enough……to pay for all my food while traveling in S.E. Asia this year? I think that would be a great goal. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    • Jaime Davila says:

      Hi Susan, I’m happy to hear you are going to give it a try. That would be a great goal to make. On top of that food is cheap in SEA!!! I’m happy I could inspire you to start saving more. If you need help planing or need questions let me know. I spent about 5 months in SEA!

  16. Indeed, very often we spend our time and money on lots of things we do not really need, then why not to start the right management of those ones right now?!! I’ll begin to save money for travel.

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