Travel Series

[Travel Series] Budgeting: Necessary or just being anal with your money?

When you thinking of vacationing you think of getting away from home, and most importantly, shopping.

You’ve saved up a lot of money, and now you’re ready to do some real damage. But are you?

Are you ready to spend all your money in one place, or just spend for the sake of having all that money? Are you planning on just shopping, or are you planning on doing other things such as attend a sporting event, checking out the local science museum, or theme park? You can rely on your credit card; being realistic should be a priority and not be so willing to show your plastic everywhere you go.

Here is my budget for my trip. Over the last three years that I’ve been traveling to the U.S., I have done extremely well. I have always set aside how much I will spend for eating out, how much I will spend on grocery items (the ones that we don’t get in Canada such as cereal, soda, and even meat products that we can bring back), and how much I plan to spend on shopping.

I have a total of $600 ($700 if I can put back the $100 in time after my shopping trip next week in Fargo). $200 is allotted for dining out – $100 is for my parents anniversary dinner (my gift to them), and $100 for places such as iHop, Chipotle, etc.

I’ve budgeted about $80 for fun things:

  • $14 for the Twins game (ticket already purchased on credit card, and paid off); $3.50 for the 6-hour event train ticket, $6 for a beer (yeah, same price there as it is here… used to it), and $4.50 for a hot dog (their dogs are just totally amazing).
  • $9 for parking when I visit WCCO studios. It’s about the same price I pay if I need to park downtown here for something.
  • $38 for Underwater Adventures at MOA. I’m paying for the two kids I am taking (the children of my mom’s friends), it’s my treat and I want to take them. This includes their admission and mine. I have a CAA membership so I can actually save $3 of my admission and $2 each for the kids admission!
  • $19 for a Meteoroid wristband pass to Nickelodeon Universe at MOA. Yes, I’m 27 and going there to ride some rides. There’s only two – Log Chute and Pepsi Coaster. If I go after 5pm on the weekends, I can pay $19 for unlimited rides but there are very little adult rides, and I only want to go on these two and possibly another one. I also save $5 off an unlimited wristband pass because I have a CAA membership, if I choose to buy the unlimited pass.

This leaves me with $300 (or $400, if I can get that $100 back) to spend on clothes and stuff from Ikea. I don’t think I’ll be buying groceries, because my parents plan on doing that. I need to put some money aside for Albertville so I can buy new Reebok kicks (I still have the $40 pair runners I bought three years ago. The sports store wanted $109 for the same pair, here!), and buy something from Harry & David (chocolate covered bing cherries, anyone?)

If you really want to save your money, or at least know where it’s going, I suggest budgeting. It might sound a little corny but at least you know what you’re going to be spending and where, so that you could have money left over to blow on whatever you want when everything else is said and done.

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