|Wide sandy beaches of 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.