Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finishing up a Sprint and Saving for Vacation with Grocery Money

As I update my sprint to paying down my student loan, I made a bold claim that I was going to pay off a portion by the end of July, well I am happy to say I am still on my way, it's going to be tight though, because I have been holding off on using my "man fund" to pay off the remaining balance.  I just made a payment on 6/18/13 so the balance should be right around $800 with a little over a month to pay off, then it's party time!!!  LOL No it's on to the next debt, the borrower is slave to the lender and nobody wants to be a slave.

My next plan of divide and conquer is to plan and cash flow my vacation, no credit cards, no savings that I apply to debt, it will be 100% be cash flowed by cutting back!!! Cut it out you say guy from Full House!  Oh we will, I tell you, we will.

So our plan is to travel to San Francisco and possibly up or down the coast to some nearby cities.  The cost can vary and according the San Francisco visitor's bureau, tourists staying in a hotel spend $244 per person per day.  We are going to go about this a little differently, since we plan to vacation in early September we have about 3 months to save, we will then take the amount that we save and use this during our trip, if we have a $100 total we better find someone with a couch who lives in San Francisco.  The good news to start is our air fare is taken care of, we made the right move last summer and accepted Delta's offer for some free vouchers and and extra day in Nicaragua, BOOM, airfare paid for.

So because my wife doesn't like sharing any details about money and the fact that I love my wife and my marriage, I will only share the money we save, not any incomes or what we have budgeted for.  We will keep things simple, if I have $100 budgeted for and only spend $30, then more of the BOOM! saved $70 for "San Francisco is Fantastico"(patent pending).  This will also include money budgeted for eating out, this is our real vice where we spend far too much money.  The same plan will apply $100 budgeted, spend $40, and yep you got it BOOM Baby!!!! $60 saved.  Based on this while I don't have a concrete number my projected savings we will need is probably about $1000, which is about $300 or $400 month, so that's a lot of savings, but I love a challenge.

Here are a couple of simple plans to save a few extra dollars:

  1. Make a list every week for our Groceries and project what we will spend before we go.  I did this and came within a dollar it was kinda freaky actually.  This way I know what I'm spending before I ever step into the grocery store.
  2. Cash only.  I take out my budgeted money after each paycheck and only use that to pay for groceries.  If I want the chocolate cookies dough and it's $2 over what I brought, I politely ask to have it removed.
  3. Do not eat out.  This will be the hardest to accomplish.  This will involve wait for it, making coffee and breakfast at the house, eating leftovers and sandwiches I brought from home, and even planning our dinners for the week and taking it out the night before(nice little Pot Roast in the slow cooker right now).
  4. Say NO.  This also rings up as one of the more difficult things to do.  Say no to eating out, say no to that work lunch with everyone.  We are not going to totally cut off the eating out for lunches, but 1x a week is the limit.
The message here is finish up a sprint and let's save some money to go on vacation, because honestly do you want to wait till your 65 to go on cool vacations???????? 

I would love to see some comments on how you save on groceries and going out.  Thanks for reading.

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