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February 10, 2014
As you are sitting there reading this blog post, I will be sitting on the gorgeous beaches of Hawaii. That’s right, HAWAII! Now, I know many of you are thinking, “how can she afford to go to Hawaii when she is doing the Savings Challenge?” Well my friends, the answer to that is Christmas money. I did not use a dime of my own hard-earned money to pay for this trip, it was all someone else’s money…that they gave to me. On top of that, I only had to purchase my plane ticket as I am staying with someone I know while I am there. Here comes the hard part…spending money!
While my trip is paid for, I know for a fact that I will want to buy souvenirs, try different activities, and eat the local cuisine. Not to mention I will be in three different airports before I arrive at my destination and you know how expensive airports can be. So I have come up with a plan to still have a great time and get the things that I want without coming home completely broke. Drum roll please…my plan is called a budget! It’s not groundbreaking I know, but it is a sure way to stay on top of your spending while on vacation.
In route to the Hawaiian islands, I have packed a few snacks so I will not have to buy food in the airport, maybe just a bottle of water. Also, they do give you a light snack and drink on the plane so I am also taking that into account. However, if I do find myself starving and in desperate need of a cheeseburger I have set aside a predetermined amount of money labeled as “airport money.” I can use this for food, entertainment, or necessities I may need while there. I will have an eight-hour layover in one place and three hours in another so this money may definitely come in handy.
Once I get to paradise, it will be a little overwhelming and I have a pretty good idea that I will want to buy everything I see at that very moment. Hey, what can I say? I am a girl that sometimes gets a little crazy and impulse buys. I once bought a cool looking coffee maker because it was on sale. Please note, I do not like or drink coffee. Anyway, I have decided not to buy any novelty type items or souvenirs for the first couple days. I will let my Hawaii euphoria wear off and then decide if I still want to buy it. As I did with the airport, I have set aside a predetermined amount of “Hawaii money” to spend on activities, food, and gifts. Once I reach my limit, I am not allowed to spend anymore. This will make me think twice before I buy something and I can decide if I really want it or just have spending fever. Also, my friends have let me know that my packing was pretty extensive, to say the least. Since I am already pushing weight limits with my luggage I will need to keep in mind what I buy so I will be able to bring it home. This will be a big deciding factor in what I think I can’t live without. Plus, I do not want to have to pay the overweight fee!
So, even if you are strapped for cash or participating in the Savings Challenge, there are still loop holes, if you will, to having fun or taking a vacation. Use Christmas or birthday money like I did or set a little extra aside in a vacation fund. Find coupons or deals online for different activities in your area. You can get great offers like buy one get one free for a dance class or 20 percent off your next meal at a new restaurant. You never know what you will find.
What have you done to still have a life while you are saving money? I know I have some coupon crazy friends out there! Well, Aloha for now, I am going to go work on my tan!
Total Savings: $561
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