travels + finding some balance
My husband surprised me with a plan to spend a few days in Las Vegas for our 6th anniversary in April. LV wasn’t on my list of top destinations but I honestly got excited about it. He said that he’d use his savings—from his allowance—to pay for most of it, if not all of it.
I have been browsing websites on things to do there and I look forward to partying it up with him. The kid isn’t joining us. My mother-in-law will be in town then, hence the trip! :-)
The kid brought up Seattle and said that he wanted to visit it with only me again (like last year). I’ve started looking into making this happen and we’re thinking of spending the Fourth of July weekend there.
Last year, we spent around $700 for everything in Seattle. We might go over this amount because we plan to see Bainbridge Island for a day, which could make me decide to extend the trip an extra day. I’m so glad to have found the hotel that is not so pricey but very convenient and well suited to our needs. We took public transport to places that aren’t close enough to walk to and we ate at not-so-expensive places. This year we’ll go for the Bolt Bus both ways. We took the train on the way back home and it did not only cost more, it took longer to get home too.
My husband is also going to take the kid on a father-and-son bonding time in Mt. Hood next weekend. He found a surprisingly cheap deal for an overnight stay. It’s going to be a lot of fun for the kid this year!
I’m really excited about all of this. However, this makes me think about our goal to pay off the student loan. We’re still chugging along obviously, but we’ve not made any attempt to pay more than our budgeted $150/week.
I don’t think that I’ve reached debt exhaustion, or whatever that label is. Husband and I still want to pay it off as soon as we can. One thing I don’t know about is whether we will ever become as rigid as the others who paid off debt in such a short amount of time. That endeavor alone takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice, which I very much respect. There have been numerous moments in my married life when I was so driven until something exciting comes along—the kind of excitement that requires putting this financial goal on the side.
When I imagine my life 10 years from now, it involves fun and meaningful moments shared with my family. Money sure places itself highly in that imagination, in that I’d want my future self to put it in the least of my worries but also be just as wise about it, if not more, as I am today. Yes, I’d like to think I’m wise about it today. However, I also don’t want my future self to miss an opportunity to make something happen because I was too tight on money. My parents have told my siblings and I that when you hold on to money so tightly, it holds itself back from getting into your hands too. It’s a concept that can be interpreted in many ways and I choose to interpret it as living my life using it as a tool instead of as a representation of my life.
Right now, my husband and I have a systematic approach to our goals for this year. To us, that’s enough because we anticipate cutting back on things here and there anyway, and we always factor in unplanned expenses. If there was one thing parenthood taught me, it was to prepare for the unplanned. We also want to allocate financial resource to traveling because it is something my family enjoys doing. It doesn’t have to cost so much. We just want to enjoy life somewhere else. At least our travel funds are not borrowed, and this proves to us that we make intentional decisions.
As for the student loan, it still sucks to have it but we will do what we can.
This week’s spending. I went with the kid to an Asian supermarket and we have great ingredients for fantastic meals to make until next week. The kid thought we’d be paying $1,000 because the cart looked full, so he was very surprised at how much it totaled to ($116). This estimating that he has been doing is so much fun to witness. He also loves coupons. What kind of person is he turning into? :-)
Yay of the week. Fantastic meals made with reasonably-priced ingredients.
Nay of the week. None! Life’s good.
Enjoy your weekend! x