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Budget for Our Trip

October 16, 2013

This weekend, the hubs and I are heading out of town for a dear friend’s engagement ceremony! We planned for this trip before we started our journey towards financial independence, and as a result, most of the expenses have already been pre-paid. We already bought our plane tickets and paid for our hotel room. I got a sweet deal on a rental car/insurance for the weekend and already accounted for this cost in our actual expenses. We also already got my friend and her fiance an engagement present and my parents are dropping us off/picking us up from the airport, so all that leaves in terms of expenses for the trip is food and gas!

To help keep us on track this weekend, while still leaving room for fun, I made a rough budget for the trip. In terms of food, we don’t need to worry about dinner on Saturday since that will be part of the party. We are getting in late on Friday night and leaving around lunch time on Sunday. My friend has planned a brunch on Saturday and a get together at a bar on Friday night. That means that we’ll need to plan for dinner on Friday, drinks on Friday night, breakfast/snacks and brunch on Saturday and breakfast/lunch on Sunday.

In terms of budget, we have a $300 line item to cover travel expenses each month (and to go into savings on months where we don’t travel). This month, we’ve already “spent” $74 for the rental car/insurance. That leaves about $225 for the rest of the weekend. One thing that I’d really really like to do is get my nails done, if we have enough cash in this account.  To help me find some money in this budget to make this happen, I’m planning on packing a dinner of sorts for us to take to the airport. I actually hate eating fast food, so I’d probably do this regardless of our budget. Even still, we’re likely going to buy water or some snacks at the airport, so I’m budgeting $15 for this. For breakfast/snacks, I’m going to take a box of protein bars that we can have. I’m still like 99% sure we’re going to go to Starbucks or something similar in the mornings and I’m equally sure the hubs is going to want something more than a protein bar for breakfast/snacks all day, so I’m going to budget $15 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday for these expenses. On Friday night, we are definitely going to out for drinks, and assuming we each have 2.5 drinks (i.e. I have 2, hubby has 3) at $7/drink , I’m going to budget $35 for this.  For brunch, I’m going to budget $40 for the two of us – we’ll probably have some drinks so this should be about right. The last thing that leaves is lunch on Sunday and I’m planning on $15 for that expense as well. Adding it all up gets us to $135 for food/drinks. We’ll probably need another $25 for gas, bringing the total to $160. That leaves us with $55 left to play with, which means I am getting my mani/pedi!!

I know, I know, we should totally put the extra money towards debt, but even if we spend our entire budget for travel this month, I am still projecting us coming in under our expected spend so I don’t feel too guilty about this indulgence. Also, I was super good and didn’t buy an expensive new outfit, so it more than evens out. I know it’s a flawed mentality to reward myself with a purchase for not making a purchase (kind of like eating “bad” food one day because you ate “good” food all week), but I guess I view it as an exercise in finding ways to fit in the luxuries I value.  We are in this for the long haul, so we have to find ways of fitting in some “affordable” luxuries (and by we I mean me – hubby is a natural saver, but I’ll save that for another post)! With that said, I’ll be sure to report back Sunday with the details on how we did with our weekend spend!

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