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Archive for September, 2008

Anyone ever managed to keep spending log while on vacation?

September 18th, 2008 at 07:12 am

I have attempted this several times, yet on day 2 I usually forget. Than I try to remember and estimate.

I hope to do better this time. Leaving TODAY!!!!

5 hours of sleep daily for the last 4 days, trying to take care of business before leaving.

Pre-vacation shopping - always expensive

September 15th, 2008 at 10:17 am

It always takes more money than anticipated. And it is unclear if I should put that money under the "vacation" budget since most of it will be used afterwards, and not only in vacation situation. But than again, that's what I think every time.

Anyway, the problem is that each time we go, we end up getting a lot of stuff for that particular trip. And each trip is different.

For example, last vacation was a month in Argentina, so we got a lot of cold weather hiking clothing. Excellent ski jacket, windproof,waterproof,fleece stuff. Pricey (especially things bought on location, but when you only have a spring jacket and a temperature plummets to below freezing, your priorities shift, and keeping warm becomes more important)

A year before this we went to Ecuador, so it was hot weather/lightweight hiking clothing that we bought.

For ski trips - ski specific clothing. We are on the slopes non-stop until the lifts close, so it is really important to dress appropriately.

Anyway, each time we end up spending a bundle on pre-vacation shopping - because we pack light (carry-on only) and our trips are 30 days in length. So it is a challenge.

We are of the opinion that buying top quality stuff that will be re-used is more worth it than buying crap you will never want to use again.

But this time I thought that we would not spend much - after all, we already had a lot of stuff. But just yesterday $430 at Paragon sports for just 2 nice rain jackets/windbreakers (layering a sweater and a windbreaker is the most compact option that can take you through cold weather) a beautiful soft fleece top and decent looking Royal Robbin pants (my favorite brand in terms of comfort). I thought we would not buy much this time, but Europe presents different challenges - one has to look more presentable than during hiking trips, yet the packing restrictions remain.

So every time I think this is the last time we do pre-vacation shopping since we have already bought so much and have everything. But it never works out this way in reality, and for each trip something new is needed. I wonder if I am the only one like that.

2 weeks until my vacation! Is it the last big vacation for a while?

September 4th, 2008 at 10:01 am

I can't wait. In two weeks we will be on a plane. We both booked 5 weeks of vacation time (hoping to come back in 30 days, but leaving ourselves time if we just want to stay few days more).
No return ticket booked yet.

We did this every year. Our "big" yearly vacation is 1 month. But I know if we buy a house it will have to be drastically cut.

So it may be the last vacation of this sort for few years to come (of course, this is what I thought the last 3 years) But we did not buy a house. I kept thinking - we'll start looking after coming back from the next vacation, so that we can go this time. I think it is one of the reasons we are delaying home buying.

Cost of living adjustment! Yey!

September 2nd, 2008 at 03:24 pm

After all the deductions, $130 more monthly in take home pay.

Small but pleasant.
That is more than our cable/phone/internet package.

I know, I should automatically put it into savings since I "won't miss it". But I don't like doing this automatically.
Doing a transfer yourself gives you that "buzz" like in shopping. Only you are buying something for your future self.

And I have a tradition of buying something fun and luxurious in the first month I get a raise - to celebrate. I think little celebrations are warranted.