Many people are quite against people going on trips when they’re paying off debt. And while I tend to agree with them in certain situations – such as when those indebted people take multiple, very lavish trips – I’m now going against it. Because I’m going on a trip.
My two closest friends have moved across the country to Alberta in the past two years, making it very lonely when I go back to my home town (aside from my family). Remember when I told you I was struggling to make friends because I moved? Well now I am not even five hours away from my closest friends. One of those friends is about to start an accelerated MD degree (three full years – no summers off) so I figured I had better get there before she has no time for visits and vacations.
But I will try to limit my costs as much as possible. I am also starting out with a budget so that I don’t go overboard. I am aware that this will push my debt repayment out a little bit (by less than a month actually), and while that isn’t ideal, I am of the mindset that I need to enjoy life, even with some lines in my liabilities column.
The first way I’m limiting costs? Using up a huge chunk of my hoarded reward miles. I managed to get a flight nearly clear across the country for $250 by redeeming my Air Miles. This flight is usually about $900 – $1100, but goes on seat sales for around $700. I was short 125 miles for my trip, but my dear friend transferred me that many miles so I could book the ticket – that cost her $20. I promised her a nice bottle of wine.
I intend to stay for a week, and get a chance to hang out with my good friends, and see a few touristy sites. My goal is to spend $100 per day, which seems reasonable considering we intend to eat in more often than not. Of course we will go out a night or two, but I enjoy being at home with a glass of wine and a small dinner party too. And my wallet appreciates it as well!
So with the ticket and the anticipated $100 per day, it looks like the trip will cost $1,050. I currently have $250 set aside in my planned savings account for a vacation, but that will be wiped out. Where am I going to come up with the other $800? Well, I have five pays between now and my anticipated trip, so I will skim $150 off per pay to get me spending money. That $150 will partly be at the expense of my debt repayment, and partly from my planned savings.
It’s not the ideal situation, but I think it is manageable. And I’ll appreciate the downtime. Now, if only my adult-onset motion sickness takes a backseat for the trip
Did you travel when you were in debt? Or did you push it off until your debt was gone?