Vacations Are Better When You Can Afford Them

This spring, I went on a short vacation to New York City. Springtime in Manhattan is a colorful contrast to its darker and more dreary winters; cherry blossom trees are in bloom and New Yorkers shed their winter coats for lighter and brighter jackets. As my friends and I filled ourselves with pizza and bagels, I realized that one of the best parts of my time was that I didn’t have to worry about how much I was spending.

Earlier this year, I decided to be smarter with my vacation spending. Instead of going on a vacation and counting the cost afterwards, I resolved to set a budget and save up for my vacation in advance. I created an “NYC” Envelope in EEBA and filled it with a portion of my paycheck each month. After several months of saving, my NYC Envelope was full and EEBA was ready to fly with me to New York!

I had never tracked my vacation spending before, but I knew I wanted to keep track of how much I spent in each budgeting category. So, I recorded my expenses in their usual Envelopes, but tagged each transaction #NYC.

This let me track my expenses via my Envelopes, but also keep a running tally of how much I had spent overall during my trip. Every now and then, I would check the Expense Breakdown Report and filter by the #NYC tag to see how I was doing overall and make sure that I only spend the amount that I had saved.  The report showed me where my money was going and helped me to reflect on my experience.

Because I had already set aside enough to pay for my vacation, I didn’t have to worry about how much things cost while I was there. This allowed me to simply enjoy my time and make the most of it.

As a side benefit, seeing my reports in EEBA also taught me more about what I actually enjoyed. Though I expected to spend money on museums or tours, I was actually more excited about eating out with my friends and walking around the city.  This information will be helpful for planning my next vacation!

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