Frugal Honey

Life & Money

Addicted to Traveling

We have reworked our food budget, ditched our non-energy efficient A/C, regularly sock cash away in our emergency fund and have turned my our back on impulse shopping. But in spite of all that, we still have a long way to go in improving our personal finances, simply because we still haven’t owned up to our biggest vice: Traveling.

We don’t have a lot of luxuries, but we are not deprived either, so I don’t understand why my hubby and I always feel like we deserve to go out of town every other month or so. It’s like we have programmed ourselves to believe that we owe it to ourselves to pack our bags and jump in a plane or go on a road trip every chance we can get.
Just this year alone, we went to Biliran, Baguio, Sagada, Cebu, Dumaguete and in a few days, we’re off to Puerto Princesa Palawan. Every trip costs us around Php5,000-Php15,000, and that’s already a very rough estimate because I would conveniently forget to remember how much we spent on eating out, souvenirs etc. etc. and so forth. I would say that we’ve spent at least Php60,000 on traveling for the first three quarters of 2012.

That Php60,000 could have been funneled towards our emergency fund, or part of it invested in stocks or mutual funds. Instead, we spent it all on traveling. But do I regret splurging on trips with my hubby? Absolutely not.
Lianne over at Wise Living said it well when she wrote that we should spend not just time, but also money, on our relationships. Traveling and spending time with my hubby will always be worth every peso spent. However, considering our financial goals, I think it’s time we re-evaluate our spending, while still satisfying our wanderlust tendencies.

We’ve been looking at group deals for hotels and we decided that next time we’ll try spending a weekend at a hotel within the city for a change (no plane fare to contend with!). After all, our idea of a vacation is a pool, a buffet and lots of sloth-like behavior. Leave the touristy photo-ops to some other couple.
And so while it hurts me to not take advantage of KLM’s $888 all-in European promo, I know that all these financial decisions will result to us developing better financial know-how and all that jazz. Besides, I have a feeling that this isn’t a one-time offer from KLM (crossing fingers!)

Saying No

 What is it about deciding to be more frugal and money savvy that suddenly brings an onslaught of delicious (and expensive!) choices right at my doorstep?

First, the hubby’s sister invited us to go with her and her kids to Vietnam. Halong Bay is right up there on my travel list, and traveling with my new family just makes the deal extra-sweet. And to top it off, my SIL was springing for accommodations!

It was almost perfect except for the fact that we don’t have Php30,000 – Php40,000 just lying around to finance that trip. I could charge the tickets and borrow from my emergency fund, but really, I’ve had enough of charging trip expenses and then cursing myself for the next few months while trying to pay off everything. Besides, trips are not emergencies.
Same with the trip to New Zealand this December that my parents are planning for my sister’s birthing (approximate expenses Php80,000 – Php100,000). It took me about half a year to wipe out all my 2011 NZ and Fiji expenses, and I don’t even want to think about how much I spent in finance charges.
Aside from trips, there’s also the Phantom of the Opera tickets that I’m lusting over. Non-nosebleed seats are at Php3,500, so that’s Php7,000 for the hubby and me. Ulp.
As much as it pains me, I’m saying No to all of the above.
I know that the hubby and I will be able to go to Vietnam and New Zealand on our own dime, without stretching our budget. And as for the Phantom, we’ll be seeing him in Broadway when we make our way to New York in the future.
I might miss out on some memories, but I know that memories that will not put me in debt are much, much sweeter in the long run.

To inverter or not to inverter.

One of my mom’s friends is thinking of buying the condo unit next to ours, so she dropped by our place to see how a dressed up unit would look. We started talking about the pros and cons of living in a condo unit, and eventually got to the topic of airconditioning and she was shocked at our electricity bill. She said that in her old clinic, they would have the AC on from 2pm to 9pm everyday and their usual electric bill amounted to less than Php1,500/mo.


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