When a $300 budget gets blown

So I took my sick self on vacation.

Well to be honest, I had planned to tack on a vacation to a work trip back in December. However, with the boink that I sustained I never sat down to really plan out this early February trip properly.

I had $300 to spend on food, transportation, tokens/gifts for family members, and any miscellany items. This was for three days.Based on my local vacations that sounded reasonable. Here are a few things I should have recognized going in:

  • An exchange rate that isn’t kind
  • I wouldn’t have my car
  • This is a tourist area so everything costs a wee bit more

If that wasn’t enough, halfway through I realized there was no way my concussed self could stay as long as planned. So I bit the bullet and paid a $270 fee to change my flight. While I wasn’t thrilled with the fee my mental health thanked me. Coming home to ML early and having time to re-set from jet lag was probably the sanest thing I’ve done in ages.

Before going I made a great decision to purchase a Go City card! I paid $240 for the card and did $330 worth of activities. This was definitely a good deal. My mistake was thinking that because I had paid for the card I wouldn’t have to pay for tourist things, completely ignoring transportation costs.

Here’s what my spending actually looked like:

Cash out (snacks, gifts, cabs)  $            81
entertainment (Go City Card)  $          240
Flight Change  $          270
Meals  $          101
gifts  $            84
misc (sunglasses and snacks)  $            33
Resort fee  $            55
Transportation  $            97
 $          961

Typing this out I feel better as the $300 in spending money was not intended to include the Go City Card as I had paid for it before leaving which brings my total spending to $721. When I had originally done the math, based on pending charges, it had looked as though I had spent $1,300.

You can imagine my feelings as I saw all my hard work to stay out of debt melting away due to a vacation. I didn’t let fear or regret cloud me rather I looked at my monthly savings accounts. Only a few of them must have monthly contributions so I pulled the money allocated for the rest of them and put it in my vacation line.

Any leftover money at the end of the month will then be placed in my savings accounts rather than my fun fund.

Lesson: Remember to budget properly as vacations can be really expensive. When going to high tourist areas scout the area on Google Maps to get a feel for the cost of restaurants and the location of groceries. This is especially important when I don’t have my car.

What frugal vacation tips do you employ to keep yourself on budget?


6 thoughts on “When a $300 budget gets blown

  1. My husband has been in school until recently so we haven’t been on a vacation in many years. Hopefully he will be going back to work soon and we are beginning to think about some trips, but that’s as far as we’ve gotten. Since he is now an (unemployed) airplane mechanic we hope we will be able to fly free eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sucks that you spent more than you meant to, but to be honest I think it is definitely worth it to give you peace of mind and also leave you more well rested – especially if you had a bonk on the head. Plus treating yourself to little pleasures every once in a while is a positive thing.

    I find researching public transport and planning walking routes beforehand is a great way to save money because it can get pricey having to get around.


  3. Pingback: Reality Check – Saving Without Scrimping

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