Friday Financial Tidbit-The best vacations are the ones that don’t follow you home!

A few days ago my family got back from our family vacation in Tennessee and Texas. After driving nearly 3,400 miles we are pretty exhausted but it was worth it. We had a blast hanging out with friends, family, and even attending an awesome conference. It is always nice to relax and do something different from your normal routine. But another nice feeling we had driving home was to realize that our trip was already paid for and wouldn’t be following us home.

My wife and I worked together and set up our budget before our trip. You can listen to our thought process of how we came up with our budget on the podcast. But how did we do? It turns out pretty well:

Gas    Budget $560 Actual $460 Difference $100
Food   Budget $340 Actual $285 Difference $55
Misc    Budget $100 Actual $70 Difference $30
Total    Budget $1,000 Actual $815 Difference $185

It’s always nice to be under budget. Going in I was pretty conservative on our gas estimate and probably over did it. Our estimate was based on $4.00 per gallon gas but most of the time we were able to fill up for around $3.60 per gallon. The food budget was the most difficult one to stay on budget but ultimately we are right on target there. After looking at our results it is amazing how much fun you can have traveling the country for under $1,000!

It’s so nice not to have to worry about getting the mail and finding a 20 page credit card statement full of restaurants and gas purchases in the next few weeks. The thing is, vacations are nice, but they are a luxury. The only way our family goes on them is if we have the cash to pay for them. So if you are planning your next vacation, try to bring home the memories but leave the bill on vacation!

What vacations have you taken this year? Were they debt free? If so, how did it feel to have it paid for before you went?

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3 Responses to Friday Financial Tidbit-The best vacations are the ones that don’t follow you home!

  1. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    It’s great to come in under budget!  Usually my vacation budgets end up over in some categories, under in some others, and in total lower than what we expected to spend.

    • JWFinancialCoaching says:

      Emily, that’s how I thought our vacation would look like. I was really worried about food and it looked like we would be over that halfway through the trip, but it turned out we weren’t. It also helped that I over budgeted for gas by doing a worst case scenario. Thankfully that didn’t come to pass and we went way under what we budgeted. 🙂

    • Jon White says:

       Emily, that’s how I thought our vacation would look like. I was really
      worried about food and it looked like we would be over that halfway
      through the trip, but it turned out we weren’t. It also helped that I
      over budgeted for gas by doing a worst case scenario. Thankfully that
      didn’t come to pass and we went way under what we budgeted.

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