Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hit the road, Jack.

I slept like a rock last night and got a solid 8 hours of sleep, finally. The past few weeks I have been working so much and between that and wrapping up the four classes I took this summer, I am wiped.

When little things start to annoy me, little things that shouldn't annoy me, I know I am too tired. Or, when my living space is a complete mess and I do not care about the dishes in the sink and the completely chaotic bedroom, I am too tired. When I start to take everything personally, that is when I know I have over-done it.

For the most part I think I'm handling the schedule well. I am at my best when I am really busy, but I think this is a smidge too busy. The two weeks prior to this, I put in 100 hours so that I can ensure a check that will pad my vacation to Washington D.C. in two weeks. I do not think I will ever do that again, because those two weeks I was pretty grumpy and I definitely needed some space.

I am so ready for a vacation, though. So ready, that my good friend Ang and I decided to plan a quick weekend trip 4 hours north to Minneapolis to just get away from it all. Even if it just for a night. I know I will come back feeling a bit more energized, especially after getting to see two good friends, Lesli and Lisa.

Then, a week after that, I will go on my big summer vacation to our nation's capital to see Becky, Molly, Mandy and possibly Julie. I am beyond excited and I think I have said, "I am so excited!" about a bajillion times. 

I'm just ready to hit the road, I guess!

Although sometimes, I don't see how some people do it. They are constantly going on vacations and doing things that require money, and I wonder what their secret is?  I know I took a giant (and temporary) step backwards financially in life to attend graduate school, but even when I was making a normal salary (for Des Moines, IA) I could not go on multiple vacations a year. And it's not like I have an outrageous amount of bills! I would say I am pretty typical with rent, utilities, car payment and (when I'm not in school) a student loan payment as my larger bills.

Anyway, that was a random side rant. Or, not even rant really, just simple curiosity. Maybe someday I will figure out the secret. Or, maybe someday I will figure out how to be a better saver. Or, a saver + planner together. I am good at planning, and if I could couple that planning with savings each week that would make a big difference.

Well, this post was all over the place and I did not intend it to be!

How do you save for vacations? Do you save your change? (my sister does that). Do you set aside a separate savings account? Do you book as much as possible far in advance? (that is my favorite method).


Kristyn said...

My sister and her husband are crazy savers. They make good money and they live very frugally. They have lived in a 2 bed 2 bath condo for 7 years now and they paid only $157k (in Atlanta) for it. For them, they set aside money each month automatically and put it into a seperate savings account with a decent APY. They use ING. I am also currently trying to do that but I completely understand when it's just you how hard it is to save. We save change too. If you really want to save money, take out cash each week for extras...groceries and gas and see how far that gets you. That is extremely hard but worth it if you want to save some money.

Hope that helps!

Carolina John said...

We use an envelope system, so every paycheck I throw a 50 into the Travel envelope. Whenever it has enough to cover the trip, we'll go somewhere. This september we're heading to the OBX for a week and I can't wait.

also, I just got back from a work trip to DC. It's seriously incredibly hot there right now, triple digits temps for the last 3 days. Pack for it.

Stephany said...

Cruising is so economical for me, which is why I can afford it. For my 6-day cruise in May (which included a one-night stay at a hotel), it cost me $1,000 TOTAL. Hotel, cruise, excursions, expenses on the ship, etc. You can't really beat that!

What I do is that I decide on a vacation I want. Right now, it's Orlando for my birthday. I decide how much I need to save for all my expenses and start the saving process! Travel funds are included in my budget so money is always being saved for SOMETHING.

It also helps that I live at home and if I'm taking a vacation with her, she'll pay for it up-front and then let me pay her back in installments. This system works WONDERFULLY for me, ha! I'm not sure I could have done the two cruises without that. Lol. So. That's my secret! ;)

I hope you have a fabulous time in Minneapolis & DC! I'm so jealous you get to meet Lisa & Becky & Mandy!!

wearingmascara said...

Hey! I'm still solidifying my plans for that weekend. I'll let you know if I'll be able to meet up. xo

pinkflipflops said...

We decide where we want to go approximately how much it will cost and we start saving and looking for deals. We sign up with about every rewards program in the sun, use ING, do not have any credit card debt and pay off every bill we can as soon as possible. We only have mortgage and 2 student loans left now. ;) also sign up for groupons in the area we are planning on going to see if there is anything we may want to do/see. But we put money away every month in 'travel funds' and then put in extra each month after we decide on a location. I think for Florida (our last big trip) we started saving in September to go in March and had everything we needed saved in plenty of time.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I know I'm getting burnt out when little things start to annoy me too!

I usually save the best after the vacation is booked. I ALWAYS put approx. $100 - $150 a month into a "fun and trips" account but once a trip is booked (usually using that savings) I tend to save a lot more aggressively for it.

Jennifer Delle Fave said...

We totally save our change!! We now decided it will go into starting baby's college fund, but it's amazing how much you can acquire! As for everyone going away all the time, my husband works in finance and you would not believe the amount of people with awful credit/debt. He sees more people coming in, buying oversized trucks/suvs and living off credit cards....some people just don't care! So there's usually a catch some place...

Kate @ Green Fashionista said...

Have fun in DC! LOVE it there! For vacays, we usually book far in advance so we only have to put down a deposit, then we make payments towards each month until it's paid off.

Cruising is hands down our fav!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yep, when little things set me off and I become irritated with things that shouldn't irritate me, I know I have over-extended myself and need more sleep. I am glad you have some fun get aways ahead of you!

I hear you on wondering how other's equations balance... I feel like I am very financiall responsible. I save each month and am extremely mindful of how I spend my money. I save for vacations throughout the year and tend to save for years for big ones, like trips to Europe. For the most part, I take one biggish vacation a year, and then maybe some small trips to visit bloggers if I can.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Ug. I know what you mean about the dishes = tiredness/burnout. When I have dishes piled in the sink, you know something is wrong!

As for saving, I think that it comes down to making choices. For me, it's an easy one. I would rather go on a big vacation than...have a beer out once a week (have people over instead or skip it), buy books (go to the library instead), eat out, have a coffee out (make it at home and you will save a bundle!) drive a car (bus/walk -- I know in DSM that's not as easy!)...anyway, each little thing, and most people have a lot of them, adds up! If you just cut out a couple of dinners out a month or whatever your poison is, you will have a bunch left over. Also, a separate account is a must for me. I take it out right when I get paid (many jobs can do it automatically) and then I "don't have it".

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I use to be the vacation queen girl but now that I'm buying a house it's going to be tight. I use to save a lot of money by driving and finding really cheap hotels to stay in. Some people are all about the hotel but to me it's just a place to sleep because I'm exploring the town. I need to email you about dc. I may/may not be in town there!