Traveling wreaks havoc on a budget.

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? 


Where have I been?

We were visiting…..

My daughter threw a surprise 30th birthday party for her husband so we went and spent 5 days with the grandkids….(pic with Liam coming soon!)


Angelina Maria – 6 mos!

However, while we were in North Carolina, my son came down with a fever, respiratory virus and a terrible cough. Thankfully my other daughter was able to drive down to Virginia Tech from her school and stock him up with tylenol, soup, juice, cough drops, and tissues.


Daughter taking care of very sick cadet bro….

We will be traveling to Blacksburg next weekend for a football game, picking up my daughter on the way and enjoying the weekend with both of them.  My son is, thankfully, feeling much better so it should be a great weekend.  I’ve missed both of them so much.

There’s more I want to share, but I can’t just yet.  Let’s just say that even though I’m an ‘empty nester’, I’m busier taking care of my kiddos now than when they were all home…

Hopefully things will slow down a bit soon, and I’ll have more time to post here.

What’s new with YOU?



When I first started this blog, I was drowning in debt.  I felt alone and wanted an outlet to make myself accountable.  If you are a long time reader, you know I have since paid it off, but I can’t help wondering if I could have paid it off sooner with all of these YouTube videos as inspiration.  Would I have gotten out of debt sooner?

So…when I come across something that is good, helpful and inspirational, I like to share.  I  found an awesome YouTuber, Angie, from Our Life on a Budget, who is doing an amazing job getting rid of her debt.  She paid off $30,000 in one year and is on track to be debt free by March, 2016.  You can find out how HERE.

I’ve also become a fan of her monthly budget reports.  It’s an honest look at the money that comes in and the money that goes out, and she uses her real numbers.  LOVE that.

If you want some ‘getting out of debt’ inspiration, please go check her channel out.  I can almost guarantee you will come a way inspired.

Thank you.

Image result for heartThere is a reason I’ve been blogging for the past nine years.  It’s because of all of YOU.  The ones who stop by and leave uplifting comments… even the ones that stop by and WAKE me up too. (Not the rude ones, you get deleted…LOL)

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. :)


It’s time for a new direction.

Resolve to let go of everything that isn't making your life better, sweeter, and richer, so you can make room for everything that does. - I’ve been MIA lately to try and figure out what I will be doing with the rest of my life.  Haha, sounds serious, right?  No, really, I’m just trying to figure out this empty nest thing.  It’s weird.  This past weekend both of my college kids were able to come home, if only for a short time.  It has only been three weeks, but oh how I’ve missed them.  It felt normal again, even if it lasted only 48 hours.

To alleviate the feeling of loneliness, I’ve started my long list of projects I want to accomplish.  I’ve discovered that I no longer want to have a house full of stuff.  (And being alone in a large home, you tend to notice all of the junk that lies around you.)  I’m leaning towards downsizing and lightening my load to make room for more experiences instead of possessions.  I’ve discovered minimalist blogs such as, that resonate with where I am at this moment in my life.  Over the past three weeks, I’ve started the  Marie Kondo method of decluttering, and so far the results have been nothing short of amazing.  Instead of focusing on getting rid of things you don’t want, you focus on the things that you want to keep and that spark joy.  Let me tell you, it made it a whole lot easier to dump my paper and files…none of that sparked any joy. :)  I’m moving on to other categories, such as books, kitchen, komono (everything that doesn’t fit into a category) and clothing.  (This may prove difficult as nothing in my wardrobe sparks joy with all this extra weight I’m carrying, but we shall see.)

So this blog may turn into something a bit different.  I may continue, I may stop.  I’m just not sure.  Just wanted to update all of you in the meantime.


I can relax now.

After seeing these pics last night, I slept like a baby.  He is in his element and that’s all I wanted needed to see.

joey day 4 down wall

joey 4th day

{Left} after rappelling down a 40ft wall


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