Speaking of money......aren't I always?lol......
I finished doing the accounting on the cost of our Vacation to Ocean City.
For you math nerd/listmakers, here is how it breaks down--
Hotel Room 5 nights oceanfront....$411.03
Pet Boarding 2 dogs.....$174.00
Restaurant dotcom certificates....$16.00
Movie and Museum(including books)....$28.75
Food Out and Drinks/Liquor Purchases....$278.29
Tips 7 Restaurants....$59.00
How I did this trip more frugally?
*Going in the "Low" Season to the Ocean means much lower room rates.
Do you know what our room booked for last Summer?
$339 a night.
Going in October?
$89 a night weekday/$109 a night weekend(Sunday night is considered weekend).
Then you add the state taxes and the room charges equaling approx. 10% of your room cost onto that base number.
I brought the cost of the room down more. Since I am on this hotel's mailing list I had a Rate Book from them that noted if I booked via telephone instead of online, I would get a 20% reduction in my room rates....20% off the discounted off-season rates.
This means I saved $100+ more on the room charges.
*I could have skipped on the pet boarding since 2 of the kids were home. But with their schedules it would have meant making the dogs either "hold it" for too long stretches during the day and having their feeding schedules disrupted. We have no pet sitting options here(we tried that last year with bad results)so it was money we had to spend in good conscience.
Not frugal but the best way for us.
*We didn't do much that cost money for activities. 1 movie, 1 museum, a few cheap books. Besides eating and drinking we concentrated on the free stuff...... walking the boardwalk, people & ocean watching from the balcony, plus a little tv. We don't see the reason for "doing things" that don't take advantage of where you are and what makes that place special. Beaches are for hanging out by and enjoying nature, not spending your whole vacation in the mall or an activity you can do anywhere.
*Gas and Tolls are what they are. Toll roads could have been avoided mostly but it would have taken us more time and more gas to get to and from where we went.
*The only non-food type item we bought was a pair of clip-on sunglasses for Hubs. They cost more than I wanted to spend but at least they are good quality and not a "cheapie" pair so Hubs should get a few years of use out of them, so frugal if they last.
No junky souvenirs were bought.
*Food and Drink was a mix of eating in(groceries), eating cheap and moderate restaurant meals. I didn't figure in the cost of the groceries we bought and consumed on vacation since those are counted under our Food Budget for the month. 17 meals were eaten--3 breakfasts and 1 dinner at the room and 13 meals(plus 2 snacks) out or on the way to or from on the road.
Between not eating every meal out and using some Restaurant certs. to try new places we had a successful eating experience on this vacation. We didn't plan on skimping on meals out since it was vacation and that is what we decided to spend on, not souvenirs or activities.
*Having been a waitress in one of my previous lives, I make tipping in establishments that require it a priority. Seriously, if you can't afford to tip the help, then you can't afford to eat out and you should stay home or go visit Ronald's or The King's Place.
I had an online friend who refused to tip when we ate out together. It pissed me off so badly that I stopped going places with him. He'd get all up into his psuedo-European attitude that we shouldn't have to tip an employee. Well, until the whole restaurant business model changes in this country, you are required to tip that waitperson Mr. Jerk Face! And you are NOT in Europe and you are NOT European so get off that popsicle stick stuck up your ass and deal with it.
Deep cleansing breath.......
Yeah, I get a little prickly about the dining public that stiffs their wait staff. I tip well.....no apologies.
$1,103.74 for 2 people for 5 nights is how it all shakes out in the end. That's $110.37 per person per day inclusive. Our room slept 4 so we could have reduced the cost maybe(though food/eating would have increased)if we had brought the kids, but then again, our "enjoyment factor" for the trip would have fallen with 2 sullen teens along. Just putting up with all that eye rolling from them would have necessitated more adult beverage purchases which would have negated any frugality. lol
So the question now is..... where do we find the $1,103.74 to cover the cost of this vacation......much of which was put on our credit card?
We will take $1,103.74 from the money we saved last year in my Savings Challenge in 2011.
We saved $34,461.31 in 2011.
As is my routine, any expenses in the following year that aren't earmarked to be paid for with current year income, we pay for from the money we saved in the preceding year. Expenses paid for in this fashion are not the normal bills, either monthly bills or irregular bills that are planned for and expected each year.
They are the emergencies like "the car motor needs an overhaul", the fridge can't be repaired so we're buying a new one" or the "wouldn't it be nice to have X because we are frugal and have the extra money for it" expenses. I guess you would call my savings challenge pile of money our emergency fund for the following year.
Having saved $34,461.31 in 2011 meant we had an emergency fund of $34,461.31 for 2012.
So far in 2012 we have spent $1,523.42 of the 2011 Savings.
--$600 was used toward the Ohio trip in June of 2012.
--$923.42 was used toward the purchase of the 3rd car for the children's use n August 2012. That car was paid for with the insurance check from the driver who totaled our last 3rd car in May of 2011 and a small inheritance check. The $923.42 was the difference between those 2 funds and the price of the car.
With the addition of the Beach Vacation expenses we have now spent down $2,627.16 of the 2011 Savings Challenge monies.
Even though 2012 is not over yet, I am going to close out the books on the 2011 Savings amount now.
Since we are only $400+ short from the savings goal for the 2012 Savings Challenge with 2 months to save that amount AND we have an extra paycheck in November, even if we run high on expenses for the last 2 months of the year, I don't foresee having to dip into the 2011 Savings monies again this year to cover any overages in our expenses.
So I can close out the books on the 2011 savings/2012 emergency fund monies and report that we ended up hanging onto $31,834.15 of the monies we saved in the 2011 Savings Challenge. This amount can now be invested since we won't tap into it again until we retire.
Once 2012 is over, the money in that Savings Challenge fund becomes the new Emergency Fund for 2013, and I will continue to save in 2013 and put that money into a new Savings fund to tap into for 2014.
It's just a never ending circle of frugality and savings. I try to stay 1 year and 1 emergency fund ahead of the expenses. 8-)
It's sort of like putting money away as soon as you pay off a car, to purchase your next car so you never have to finance a car again.
I put money away for future emergencies so that I never have to finance anything in my life again!
How do you save for vacations and those nice little things in life? Do you plan ahead? Do you put money specifically into a fund for fun? Or do you fund a general emergency/expenses account?