A testimony from Krystal of Simple Finance Mom:
When my husband and I first got married, we decided to put our money into a savings account instead of splurging on a big honeymoon. Instead, we promised ourselves we would do a big trip on our one-year anniversary. You know, when we had more money…
Then year one came and went with no trip. As did year two. And then year five. And then year eight.
Last year, our ninth year of wedded bliss, we laughed at how naive we were in thinking we would have more money later in our marriage. Kids. Pets. A home. Good ol’ Murphy who always pays a visit from time to time.
But then we realized it was time we stop putting ourselves last on the totem pole. It was time to plan a “honeymoon.” We know our marriage is one of our greatest investments. So we committed to going on a week-long trip to celebrate our ten-year anniversary, no matter what.
While we knew we didn’t want to spend an outrageous amount of money, we wanted to go on an international trip. After doing our due diligence and having a few discussions, we compromised with a budget that felt right for both of us.
In order to pay for our trip, here a few ways we saved.
We tapped into our Vacation Savings Account.
Each month, we have a small amount that is saved automatically for our summer trips. Last year, our trip was smaller knowing we would have this big trip coming up. It really helped our stockpile of savings grow little by little over time.
We set aside our tax refund.
This was a great jump start to our budget, and covered all of our round-trip airfare.
We skipped using a travel agent.
My hubby gets all the credit here. He spent hours and hours researching locations, things to do, travel expenses, etc.
We were fortunate to be gifted a timeshare for our resort stay. A family member was gracious enough to give us a week at a resort. This limited the resorts we could visit, but it literally saved us thousands!
We only paid the fees and taxes for our visit.
We planned flights well in advance. Again, hubby gets the points for this one! Once we decided a location, he price checked flights and airports. When prices dropped, we jumped and bought our tickets for a great discount.
We shopped around for excursions.
We only did the things we really wanted to do, not everything that was offered to us. Experiencing the culture was amazing! We loved every minute of it!
At the end of the day, we learned that while we can’t afford frequent trips that cost thousands and thousands of dollars every year, we also can’t afford to NOT invest in time alone as a couple. Strategically saving over time bonded us as a team, and afforded us an unforgettable trip.
The memories are worth far more than the meager budget we started out with.
Krystal is a teacher turned homeschooling mama of two. She recently paid off over $80,000 of debt with her husband, and now writes about making family finances simple. You can read her debt free story, as well as tips for budgeting, saving, and investing for beginners at Simple Finance Mom.
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