Well before Orsolya fell in love with Cuba, one of her key focus was to educate people – especially her children around money. Well, apart from being a single mum of two, who had to be savvy if travel was to be on the cards.. Let’s face it, when it comes to managing money and saving, it’s a skill that many of us learn the hard way. Why? Because it isn’t taught to us in school and comes as a bit of a shock in adulthood. However, this skill becomes essential when we want to save for large goals like travel.

When it comes to managing money and saving, it’s a skill that many of us learn the hard way. Why? Because it isn’t taught to us in school and comes as a bit of a shock in adulthood. However, this skill becomes essential when we want to save for large goals like travel.

Couple on Malecon Wall

Why is this so hard? Because it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long-term commitment that requires continuous effort, potentially things that are viewed as a sacrifice, and sometimes, failure. Yet remember, the power is in your hands. Only you can change your financial destiny.

So, where do you start? By understanding your spending.

Understanding your spending is not necessarily the stressful part. What causes anxiety is not knowing where your money has gone, and being scared to check your bank balance. So, it’s time to change that.

Take some time this weekend, maybe even grab a bottle of your favorite wine – or in Cuban style, grab a mojito! (trust me, you might need it). Sit down, relax, and pore over your bank and credit cards statements. Find out exactly where you stand financially, down to the very last dollar.

In Havana with Love

The key here is to track down every single dollar you spent and in the long run be able to account for them. Yes, it might seem like a tedious task, but it’s essential to understand where your money is going. Whether it’s groceries, entertainment, your morning coffee, or even that random toy you bought for your pet or even the overdrawn fee… Write it all down.

You might be surprised by what you find. Those little things do add up and you don’t even realize it. But the purpose here is not to judge yourself or regret your past decisions. Rather, it is to gain awareness and most importantly, to not just let the bank take your hard earnt cash, but put YOU in charge of your destiny!

Having gained awareness of where your money is going, it’s time to set some goals. What are you saving for? That bucketlist trip to Cuba.. a new car, an emergency fund, or are you looking to buy that house down the road.. Define your financial targets clearly. Write them down and don’t be afraid to be ambitious. Word of caution, not overambitious so you do not believe it can actually be done! As that can have a negative effect.

Once you have your objectives in sight, break them into manageable, measurable steps. For example, instead of just saying you want to save for a vacation, determine how much you’ll need, and then calculate how much money you should set aside each month. Quite easy when you have a trip in mind


Now that you have a clear outline of your expenses and goals, it’s time to create a budget that works for you. A budget- maybe a ‘dirty’ word – but it is a powerful tool that helps you control your spending, save money, and work towards your financial objectives. Start by allocating funds for your essentials: housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation. Then, determine a reasonable amount to set aside for leisure, like dining out or hobbies. The remaining funds can be channeled into your savings goals. Remember, don’t make your budget so restrictive that you feel like you are drowning. A budget it’s a living document that can adapt as your circumstances change. But the discipline of sticking to a budget and most importantly, your savings targets, can be immensely rewarding as you watch your savings grow and your holiday plans turn into reality.

Be mindful of the potential pitfalls that can disrupt your financial journey. Impulse purchases, the temptation to keep up with friends’ spending, and unforeseen expenses can all derail your budget. To mitigate these risks, it’s wise to set aside a portion of your budget for an ‘impulse fund’ – a small, designated sum of money for those spontaneous purchases, so long as they don’t exceed the predetermined amount. Additionally, building an emergency fund is an essential strategy; it serves as a buffer that safeguards your savings goals from unexpected costs, such as medical bills or unexpected car repairs. Being prepared with financial cushions can help maintain your course towards saving and ensure peace of mind.

couples at the beach<br />

Maximizing your income is also a critical strategy in mastering your finances. Look for opportunities to boost your earnings through side hustles, freelance work, or selling items you no longer need. This extra income can accelerate your savings and help you reach your goals faster. As a side note, be sure to review your employment benefits thoroughly — things like matching retirement contributions can significantly increase your financial resources without extra effort on your part. Every additional dollar earned or saved is a step closer to financial freedom and the fulfillment of your aspirations.

If you happen to have lots of spare cash, investing is another critical element when it comes to growing your wealth and securing financial freedom. While saving is essential, it’s often not enough to just accumulate cash. Inflation can erode the purchasing power of your savings over time. That’s why it’s important to consider putting your money into investments that have the potential to yield higher returns than a traditional savings account. Start with a thorough research or consider consulting with a financial advisor to understand the types of investments that align with your risk tolerance and financial goals. Whether it’s stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate, each investment vehicle has its own set of risks and opportunities.

Diversification is key to managing risk; by spreading your investments across different asset classes, you can mitigate the impact of volatility in any single area. Remember, investing is a long-term commitment, and patience is crucial. The markets will have ups and downs, but over time, investing can significantly contribute to your financial growth and stability.

Understand that this is where you are right now. And it’s okay. Change doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right attitude and persistent effort, you can start re-shaping your money habits and work towards your holiday goals.