Travel-motivated budgeting


First of all, welcome  to everyone who stumbled over our blog coming from Tanja’s site – hope you enjoy this little excursion into our life. I’d be happy if you leave comments…

At the moment we’re busy trying to pull off a small getaway to MEXICO. Super excited!! See, Mexico has been on top of my “places to visit before kicking the bucket” list for so long now – and we realized that we’re living more close to Mexico now than ever before, and we will move far away again soon. So, instead of planning another “US-coast” trip at the end of the month, we’re staying home and instead are now budgeting for 10 days Mexico in May.

Budgeting:

Flight 2x $375, Car rental $200, cheap small B&B found on the internet $648 –>  $1598 in total = $800 per clam.

I’m not counting food expenses because we’d have those at home too.

Financial situation: debt-free, neck-breakingly high rent (34% of household income), no other payments, savings at the moment 40% of household income. I am allowing us an extra $240 ‘fun spending money’ in the monthly budget. For 2 clams over 2 months (until our trip) that would be $960. That means, we’ll ditch the “fun” (a.k.a. going out at night and buying drinks), but we still have to raise $638. If we remove the monthly sushi excess off the grocery budget, we’re at missing $322. Divided by 2 clams, that’s $80,50 that we will have to take off our respective 40% savings per month, which won’t jeopardize our long-term savings goals too much (of course, the smartest idea would have been to start saving for holidays more in advance – damn you spontaneity!)

Instead, of course we could pay off the trip entirely with our savings “budget” but here’s the catch: we don’t even see that money, it’s deducted from our paychecks automatically each month. In order to get it, we’d have to make transfers from those accounts. Because I don’t “see” it, I kind of forget it’s there. And it hurts to take money from it. BUT, as you guys might have noticed by now, traveling is a huge priority in our lives. On the other hand, eating out a lot and buying gadgets is not…

We’ll pay the missing $322 from savings, but in order to be able to “fun spend” a bit in Mexico too, we committed to reducing groceries budget in April – three months ago we purchased a 20lbs bag of rice for $20, and we’re freezing fresh vegetables that we buy for low /lb prices – just by eating more rice, beans and vegetables in the evening (all cooked together in the rice cooker in 20mins), we can reduce our expenses by 30% (proven previously).

It’s all about priorities in life…

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2 Responses to Travel-motivated budgeting

  1. Michele says:

    I am enjoying your blog! It is always worth it to buy experiences instead of stuff…You will have a great time in Mexico and I will look forward to seeing the photos.

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