It’s been three months now without my part time salary. For the most part, our expenses are the same, although I’ve lowered some and it’s worked out. However, traveling has taken a HUGE bite out of our budget. We’ve gone to Blacksburg for my son three times, all requiring hotel stays. You would think that in the middle of no where, VA, rates would be reasonable. Um, no. We’ve spent upwards of $250 a night because the hotels know we need to be there for orientation, drop off, and parents weekend. Hotels are one thing, but food while traveling can get quite expensive as well. Geez, even McDonalds (yep, we went there ONCE, no jugdging!) was $12.00 for two burgers. Good grief.
The result of traveling to see my kids (VT, JMU, and Raleigh) resulted in pulling cash from savings. The extra gas, hotel lodgings and eating out and dog sitting while we were away cost us an extra $2,000.00. If I were still working part time, I would have been able to cover that and still have money left over.
We are once again traveling this weekend. Although the hotel & football tickets were prepaid, there is still the extra gas and food. I am anticipating our weekend food & gas to be no less than $300.00. Money that really isn’t in the budget, but I’ve tweaked our spending to accommodate the expense.
As much as I don’t want to, I have been contemplating going back to work, at least part time. I think it would help in aiding the potential travel in the future, and give us some breathing room. When I ‘retired’ at the end of June, I wasn’t really counting the cost of travel in our budget, and it has wreaked a bit of havoc, to say the least. I would like to replace the cash I took from savings, and build up a cushion for future traveling.
In the meantime, I will continue to tweak our budget and try to plan ahead so that I won’t need to pull from savings for travel. (More on my ‘empty nest’ budget changes will be forthcoming in a separate blog post)
How do you save money when you are traveling?