Saturday, February 6, 2016

Planning Adventures



Wide sandy beaches of Tofino



Tofino

I am so excited that our 10 night trip to sunny Spain is less than two months away .  Final preparations have begun with train tickets now booked and Euros in hand.

Even though we have this great trip planned it doesn't mean I don't have other adventures planned.  In May my stepdaughter is flying out for a long weekend and in June we finally going to travel to Tofino for 3 nights for hubby's birthday, something that has been on our wishlist for a few years.  I am even thinking ahead as to options where we should travel next year.


How do I pay for all of this?  When you own your own home free and clear (*after years of overpaying on our mortgage) and spend zero dollars maintaining debt you have money to spend on the things you want to versus have to.  I used Avion miles for my Stepdaughter's ticket and only had to pay $105 tax.  The Spain trip had been fully funded by the end of 2015 although I still contribute $300 + per month to our travel fund just in case expenses increase on that trip or to go towards future trips.  It is sure nice to go on vacation and not come home to credit card bills you don't have the money for.  We stick to a strict budget for groceries, entertainment and clothing so that we can spend the money the way we want.

I can't tell you how many times I go to the grocery store and see people mindlessly spending without regard for prices to see that their debit card does not have sufficient funds for their bills or to see the shock on their faces at the final price.  EVERY PENNY COUNTS PEOPLE!  Then they go across the street to Starbucks and spend $6+ on a latte to drown their sorrows and complain to their friends how broke they are.  I actually know of someone who has hid the fact from her husband that she has their home cleaned by a cleaning lady while he is at work - and she does not work outside the household nor is ill.  She is one of the people who complains that they are broke all the time.

We buy used when possible and a lot of our current wardrobe comes from the thrift store except some of hubby's business clothes.  When I met him 13 years ago he wouldn't step inside a thrift store, now when he has a few minutes free he goes on his own.  Last week he found a pair of like-new Keen shoes that had hardly been worn.  We ran them through the washing machine and carefully dried them and they came out like new with zero damage, a risk he wanted to take due to the heebeejeebee factor of buying used shoes.  Obviously I've trained him well.

Our three night trip to Tofino is not coming out of the travel fund yet.  We have nearly $400 in our sealed pot fund which has been contributed to over the past 1.5 years for a weekend away but due to the dog no weekends away have been booked.  This money has come from rolled change (our banks don't have automatic counting machines yet), bottle deposit returns, and selling items via Craigslist and a 24 hour bidding Facebook site.  In January I contributed $34 just from selling junk around the house. I have a few months left of fundraising for this adventure as Tofino is very expensive and even in off season the rate for cabins is very high.  We want a cabin so we can take Buddy and self-cater and we want to go when the weather is decent so we can spend a good amount of time on the beach walking with the dog.   3 nights in early June which is shoulder-season will cost us around $800, and this staying in nearby Ucluelet which is cheaper than Tofino which is only 25 km away. Other than that there will be some gas money  for the 3 hour journey each direction but we won't be eating out so other expenses will be limited.  We will walk part of the Wild Pacific Trail, watch surfers and enjoy nature which is my favorite free activity.
Ucluelet
I completely understand if travel is not your thing - you may choose to scrimp and save on some things to take yourself to the Spa or buy expensive clothes.  Everyone has choices - what do you choose to scrimp on  and what do you splurge on?

29 comments:

  1. Obviously, we share the same mindset on this one! :-) I've never done much research on Tofino, but it sounds amazing. I think you'd love the Oregon coast. Have you been there before? It's amazing - scenic, rugged, & very small town. One of my favorite places in the world.

    I am, however, treating myself to a very expensive spa treatment for my 40th next week. I feel only the tiniest bit of guilt. ;-)

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    1. Tofino is pretty cool but so many go there and miss the rest of this fantastic island. We have explored a lot of the island and surrounding islands so it is time. Happy Birthday!!

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  2. I like to spend my money on traveling as well. I found that by living below my means is the best way to have the money to travel. When I was unable to travel, a much bigger house for my large family was how we chose to spend our money, on daily comfort. Now a small manageable house, decorating on a budget and eating at home is my favorite way to save.

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    1. I agree. When I was single before I met hubby I lived in 600 sq ft above somebody's garage so I could live right on the ocean. As long as you live within your means you can do whatever you want to.

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  3. Enjoy your trip. Everything or all most every thing is in reach.
    Coffee is on

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    1. You are so right, if you save everything is in reach.

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  4. Travel over stuff for me. Have fun planning.

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  5. We haven't been able to save any money since we moved to AL (coming up on almost 3 years ago now). We are still in survival mode here. We do have a change jar that we cash out once a month to use on dinner out or maybe a movie, but that's it. No vacations, but we hope to get a big tax return this year. We want to go to Sarasota FL to visit friends who moved there from NY (where we're originally from). The husband has Alzheimers and we want to see him before he forgets who we are. That's on our list right now as far as travel goes.

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    1. That sounds like a good time to go. Life will be easier now with your hubby's recent employment.

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  6. Hi you are a woman after my own heart . Travel is my passion so I don't waste money now I'm not working. I must confess I did overspend when I had the means but now travel is the priority so everything goes into our travel fund. We are planning a RTW trip in 2017 and have a few adventures planned for this year starting with Mexico in a couple of weeks. I hope you have a fab time in Spain.

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    1. Welcome Wendy! Everyone overspends at some point in their life. My lesson was learned early with my first credit card - Sears $500 balance. I carried that damn balance for five years and never carried another again. Have a great time in Mexico!

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  7. so jealous of your trip. We are saving for a trip to Copenhagen, maybe in 5 years (?). In a few weeks we are going to Park City Utah. We live in Florida and my kids have never seen snow, They are 8 and 12, I guess its time...

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    1. Now is definitely the time to save for that trip - it will be so much fun when you get there. Snow for the kids will be an amazing experience, I hope you guys have tons of fun!

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  8. and to answer the scrimp and splurge question: I spend big bucks on bras and face cream. I scrimp on pretty much everything else.

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    1. Ok, I completely understand the bra thing having a large chest myself. Cheap bras just don't cut it. That is probably the most expensive item in my wardrobe.

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  9. Travel of course! We work hard for half the year, almost every day and often long hours in order to take half a year off to travel here to Mexico. While here we mostly eat in. We love it and when we do go out the odd time we are frugal but enjoy it to the fullest.

    You are going to love Tofino. Hope the weather will be perfect for you.

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    1. You definitely live our kind of lifestyle. We don't take much time off now (since hubby is a workaholic) but in the summer we try and take most afternoons off and mostly quote business and take it more easy. You definitely live life fully and cheaply :)

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  10. I love that you talk about how hard you worked and the rewards. I see so many people making crazy mistakes and it makes me nuts. I had a neighbor that was always broke(so were we but I was really careful) I took her kid, Anna and DJ to the dollar store and told them that they could each get 2 things. The woman pitched a fit because her daughter wanted one more thing but I told her she could only get 2. The girl was fine with it but the mother was border-line irate at me. She kept saying to me it was only a dollar and I told her that I had no other cash. She now lives in a trailer that her dad had to buy, she is also divorced and miserable. I feel no satisfaction in that. But the terribly sad thing is that her and her husband(they are now divorced) made just shy of 3 times what we had coming in.

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    1. She pitched a fit because her daughter had to stay on budget?! Poor kid, she will never learn anything from her Mom. We saw so many high income earners when hubby was a manager just blowing money like crazy, living way above their means. He regularly talked to his salespeople about putting some of it away since it wouldn't always be an amazing economy in Alberta. Now that has tanked and many are hurting.

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  11. I'm completely inconsistent when it comes to scrimping and splurging but splurging tends to be the norm around here.

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    1. You do live in a wonderful place where you want to - in a beautiful apartment with a great spouse. Sounds like you have carved out the live you want to me :)

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  12. Pretty much the same as you! Since Christmas I've saved enough to pay for my flight to and from Dublin, trip insurance and our airbnb in Galway. So far my trip is completely paid for. I don't like to have debt and am willing, like you, to wear thrift store clothing and buy less meat and no name products. It is SO worth it!

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    1. It is so worth it, I just don't understand why more people don't understand that!

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  13. The trouble is that many people are conditioned to think that they can have it all. There's a strange sense of entitlement that makes them believe that they can treat themselves every day, have a wardrobe full of designer clothes, drive a flash car and go on expensive holidays. If they can without getting into debt then good for them. I can't, I'd rather economise on everyday stuff and have a month away once a year. Vive la difference! xxx

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    1. Entitlement - you nailed it! I am with you.

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  14. I agree that travel should not be put off until you are too old to enjoy it to the fullest. When summer comes, we enjoy camping as an alternative to staying in a hotel or other accommodation. In some cases, it's free for unserviced remote sites (which I think are the best). - Margy

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  15. I love to travel too, and put aside some money each month into savings and pre-book and pre-pay when possible. I'll be off on a one week cruise next Friday. I put my deposit down last May, booked and paid for airfare and hotel in the fall, and then from savings paid the rest of the cruise in December. I managed to catch the payments before our Canadian dollar went into freefall so the exchange rate wasn't too horrible. I have enough in savings for the extra costs
    I always plan in advance and try to find the best fares, using Airmile points where I can. I'm going to be spending a month on your island next March and plan to use points for both flights and car rental. From now until then I'll be saving money for the accommodations. I don't feel like I'm scrimping and saving but have been a single mom for nearly 35 years so perhaps that comes naturally!

    Enjoy your trip to Spain! I look forward to hearing your adventures.

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  16. It's been about 20 years since we've been to "the Island". This spring that will change, we will be sniffing around for our new home, maybe... I think the Nanaimo area should be a good central location to everything there is to see and do. Love your blog!

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