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 Goodbudget and filled it with a portion of my paycheck each month. After several months of saving, my NYC Envelope was full and Goodbudget 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 Spending by Envelope 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 Goodbudget 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!