I’ve really struggled with the idea of our vacation this summer (aka NEXT month!!!). Since we never really go on trips it was very difficult for me to accept the idea of spending thousands of dollars to go on one vacation. Remember? I vented about it here.
The closer this trip gets to fruition though, the more excited I am, and the more I’m learning about myself and my financial boundaries.
My initial budget for this trip was $3,000.
$1,000 to flights
$1,000 to lodging (we were initially going to stay at a cute downtown B&B that had a special $100/night rate)
$1,000 to rental car for 2 days, food, activities
Then we changed our minds about the B&B because we’re doing a lot of checking in and checking out with going to Montreal and Niagara Falls for various parts of the trip. So then I started looking into hotels. Now, if there is one thing to know about traveling to Canada – it’s that it is expensive up there! So even a super crappy hotel can cost $180/night. Super crappy hotels are not my cup of tea. Even with spending just a few short hours sleeping in there. This meant I really needed to reconsider our budget.
So I really analyzed what kind of vacation we wanted. What it came down to was that we feel that we deserve to have this nice trip since we live like poor college students everyday.
I mean, I haven’t gone grocery shopping in over THREE weeks! We’ve been living solely off of our co-op baskets (at around $22/week for the basket and add ons) and staples like eggs/almond milk. Right there shows me that we deserve to splurge after all the money that we’ve saved ourselves by having a simple lifestyle.
We’ve met all financial goals I’ve set for us thus far — we have an e-fund of 12 months of expenses, plus another hefty chunk of savings for baby fund/car fund/vacation fund. We live off of my income alone (which is small I tell you – I’m in non-profit, so I don’t work for the money) and can save my husbands entire grad school stipend. We don’t have car payments. Our mortgage is tiny – tiny as in <$600. Aside from the huge deferred student loans that the husband has from Undergrad, I think we’re doing okay.
So my rule of thumb for splurging, is to make financial goals, meet them and then maintain them. If we do that, then splurging is deserved. In our case, it’s well deserved if you ask me. We’re young (23/25) and have accomplished more financially then I had ever imagined (even after paying for about 80% of our $28K wedding last year) and for that, we deserve this!
I think this realization on my part is a huge step towards my financial happiness. I’ve never truly accepted the idea of splurging. I’ve always wanted to just keep saving, spending very little and thus feeling bad when I think about splurging. I thought that splurging would make me feel guilty…
Well, we have not only started booking our hotels for this trip…we booked my DREAM hotel. One that I have been eyeing ever since I was a little kid walking around downtown Ottawa with my family.
Meet…The Chateau Laurier
Home to many hopes and dreams of Jaye Fay. The venue of the Prom of the high school I would have gone to had we not moved. Resident of some of the best land in downtown Ottawa – right next door to Parliament!
Now, it was a little pricey. It was under any other circumstances, out of our price range. But my awesome Lovebug convinced me to just do it. Do it I did.
And I don’t even feel bad or guilty like I thought I would! I’m even more excited because our hard work is paying off for us to go stay somewhere I’ve only dreamed of staying!
Only a short amount of sleeps left and we’ll be sleeping in a chateau! Woo hoo!
So that’s my lesson on splurging. Don’t keep yourself locked up and not enjoying life just to save every penny. Make some goals, and when you meet them – feel good about a splurge. It made my day (heck, it made my day, week, month…) and I know it will make yours too!