Friday, July 11, 2008
A Cheaper Vacation
I'm in the middle of a two-month vacation, which is a lousy time to start this experiment. Still, there are things to be done.
In the first place, sitting on the beach gives me ample time to define my goals before I commit to them. I spent a half-hour today writing a list of rooms in my house and all the things in them to sort through when I get home. I don't think getting rid of half my stuff is going to be that hard, folks.
It also helped me to come up with the rules in the previous post. I had begun trying to figure out how to cut the cost of this trip in half - a difficult proposition since the trip is one-third over - when I remembered that I'm not trying to apply the one-half idea like a formula.
This is an experience, not a thing. It doesn't need to be halved. Not all of it, anyway.
My return cross-country drive will cost me about $1500 for gas, food and lodging for six people. I'm pretty proud of that number already, actually. We have found a way to take a tremendously cheap and long vacation every year.
However, I can work on halving my grocery budget and my "take-home" souveniers. I have $700.00 budgeted for food for the next four weeks. It's going to take some fancy footwork to cut that to $350 while I'm here. I'll keep you posted on a weekly basis.
I have $1,000 budgeted for "fun" while I'm here. Again, I don't have to "halve" that - it's an experience, right? Except for the souveniers. Normally I stock up on books while I'm here since the prices are so much better in New York than they are in Canada, but I already bought a bunch, and I bought some clothes, too. Most years I would spend about $400 more on that type of thing before I left. Instead, I'll limit myself to $200. It will be easier to pack, anyhow.
$350.00 for food
$200.00 for things
$600.00 for experiences (I don't think I'll spend that much!)