After the excitement of agreeing to go away next year to the US and thinking about all the places we'd go, we then had to think of the serious (boring) stuff - like will we actually be able to afford this? I do think if we're careful in our spending the next year it should be ok - but considering I'm planning to submit my thesis before we go (aargh!) I will not actually have a scholarship when we get back. So we need to plan for having money for when we return also.
I'm hoping that the 'saving for something fun' thing will be a bit more motivating than the 'saving to be sensible' plan of the past has been. Apologies if this is not super exciting, but here are some things I plan to do to make this dream a reality:
Love this show!
Sell some unwanted stuff on ebay (anybody want a Nintendo DS or an iPod nano?)
I'm a compulsive dvd buyer, but really what's wrong with just watching regular tv, or reading, or talking, or even uni work, as activities to do at home! I'm not cancelling my pre-order of the next Bones season however!
Cut down on bought lunches and eating out. If I'm honest, we probably eat dinner out about 4 times a week. Which is not only costly, but wastes the food we've bought for that week since I often plan to cook a lot more than that. It's also probably not so healthy either!
I don't really want to cut down on out of the house activities, because we usually only go out or to the movies etc. once a month or less. We could plan to do less costly activities though, like picnics, going to the beach, walks etc.
Actually look at how much we spend monthly, and work out how much that means each week. Doing this, I was very shocked to find out that we can actually afford to live just on husband's pay and we'd get by OK. Which means - where on earth has all my pay been going all this time?
Additionally when we're over there, nearly 2 months is a long time to eat out for every meal. So we're going to try to find places to stay where we can store and prepare our own meals. Not only will this be a much healthier option it should save a fair bit of money too. Of course we'll still treat ourselves to some nice meals though! Eating local cuisine is all part of the experience!
On our honeymoon, Husband and I were a bit picky about where we stayed, since it was supposed to be romantic. Nothing says the opposite of romance like staying at a hostel (to me, anyway). However while we still want our next trip to be nice, we're both much more willing to stay in budget places for some locations. If the dates stay as they are, we will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary over there, so I'm sure we'll pick a nice place for that anyway.
Do you have any tips for saving up for something big? Or any tips to make the money last longer on a holiday?
P.S. On a totally unrelated note - the party is tonight! Look out for pictures soon of me all zombied-up!