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« App Review - Family Friendly San Francisco | Main | giveaway revealed »

June 10, 2010


Vintage Ruby

What a timely post for me! We are headed to the coast next week.

The envelopes are a great idea.:)


I do the same thing, I use pretty envelopes, lunch boxes, or whatever is necessary to stay on track with my goals. It helps! I love your dedication and organization for your vacation, I'll have to utilize some of these tips for a couple of upcoming nerd conventions. Man, those are expensive if you don't go with a strict budget and a plan. All those cool toys....

Good luck keeping on budget, it's funner when you get creative with the vacation budget. The best things in life are free.

amy zimmer

We love Sacramento. The train up is the most fun! Amy


Selena, you're my hero! I mean it! Thanks for all this valuable info. Have a GREAT time!

We did some similar things for our trip to Disneyland a few weeks ago. Each kid got $10 cash per day to spend. Havah saved hers up until the last day. Henry spent his every day. We packed breakfast and lunch and ate dinner at Disneyland restaurants. Jon and I would mostly split meals, since the portions were ample. We took advantage of the kids fly free and got bonus cash from Chase bank for using their point system.


I like the idea of the envelopes. Our biggest expense outside of air fare and accomodations is our food and I have to say we sort of splurge there because we like to try the local restaurants. Most of what we do is for exploring New Orleans on our trip there 2 weeks ago. My most memorable thing is the food! lol!! Money well spent!


Carla Grace, Middleburg, Florida

We are budgeting for our family's summer getaway using a few techniques: (1) hubby will work a few days of OT - he hates to be gone on the weekends but does sacrifice a few Saturdays for the extra $$ (2) we are holding our semi-annual garage sale this Saturday and will use the profits as our spending money (3) we are combining our family trip this year with my daughter's 8th birthday so there won't be an additional party expense to worry about and (4) we always bring our own breakfast foods and snacks for our trips...I've been known to sneak in my own toaster for our bagels and English muffins.


Long time reader - first time commenter. I live in Sacramento and the thrifting is great. I am curious about where you end up. Please make sure to share! We have several great goodwill's in the area but not sure if that they will be in the part of town that you will be staying. Have fun!


This year we are doing another 'staycation', so we can work on projects around the house that need to be done. To help offset the cost, we take advantage of a program at our school, where we can buy gift cards to various retail stores including Home Depot and Lowes. For every $25 we spend on the gift cards, we get a voucher for $1 off of our school tuition. This allows us to budget our purchases over weeks or months ahead of time. Then we just buy the supplies the week of our staycation.

This programs works as a year-round fund-raiser for school as well - most of the retail stores give us between 4% to 9% of the purchases back. We also purchase our grocery store cards this way every week. The tuition credits really add up. We accumulate our credits and these past 2 months, saved over $150 in tuition.

For next year's vacation, I am putting $20 a week away (in an envelope!!) in a drawer, that we will use for next year, so we can actually go somewhere. This money will come from sales, if we continue to do well there. Enjoy your 20th reunion!!

Vicki K

Those CK envelopes are very charming! Having a certain vacation budget helps me work harder for extra money that's not part of our usual cash flow. It makes clearing out and having a garage sale more exciting knowing exactly what all the effort will be earmarked for.

Selena Cate

I hear you Jane. I love eating out and I hope when our house sells that we can enjoy that a bit more. I find so much value in a meal out. It creates so many lovely memories for us as a family. Id actually prefer to eat a nice meal than to buy something from a gift shop.
xoxo Selena

Patty Ashworth

My Mom used to take the quarters out of her purse every day and put them in a drawer to save for vacations. Couldn't take a family too many places for that, but there was a family camp up on the St. Lawerence River in NY state that we did go to every August. I also have a friend who takes the ones out of his wallet everyday to save for things.

I save my quilting money for my trips. My hubby doesn't go on every trip, so he never complains if I drive from TN to NH to visit my sister. Gas goes on cards and I keep close eye on that, but you have to buy gas, food, and hotels on the way. Then I stay with her, and she feeds me well. I always give her money for the food. Then it's fabric shopping and antiquing!

My dh and I didn't go on any real vacations while we put our kid through college. So we did splurg and go out west for 3 weeks last year. We needed that trip. So you do need that extra fun money once in a while.


I love the challenge of sticking with a budget for a trip. The envelope idea is great. I used to use it in college. When the money is gone, well, then the money is gone. I have considered doing it for the budget in the house too, but I have a feeling I will get some resistance from my husband. Maybe I will give it a try while we are away on vacation this year. And how can you say no to budgeting when it involves such beautiful envelopes!


what an inspiration! i need to budget for time to visit my niece. :)


I love that you specify Chipolte twice on your food budget. Get it while you can! I can't believe we don't have one around here.

Have fun in Sac, and enjoy the thrift stores!


the envelopes are a great idea, but yes, hard to do if you use credit and debit cards... i used to add up in the evening what i thought i'd spent during the day, when i went interrailing, but it was more of a how much a day budget, than a budget with categories...


So glad your trip included our little reunion get together! It was so nice to see you and the family, and I love all the clothing items you brought for me! They will most certainly be appearing on my blog SOON :)


Sacramento is awesome!!! My mom's from there so we used to go there a lot. My favorite is the train museum in old town. And Arden Fair Mall is my favorite!! And Chipotles is delicious:) I love your envelope idea - I always totally overspend on vacation and it really sucks. My 20th reunion is the end of July so I'll be heading home to Silverdale for a week. I need to get working on my budget NOW!!!

Short Term Furnished Rentals NYC

To save more on summer vacations, why not try to stay in a vacation apartment? It is much more affordable and it's like your home away from home. Usually, apartments are furnished for your convenience; you can cook which really help you save a lot for food budget. So, try it next time when you are off for a vacation trip.

Darcy Grubaugh

Budgeting is never easy. It takes a lot of everything to have it as a skill. You must always remember that it is very different from estimating. When it comes to travelling, early bookings help a lot to save more. The trick is to always plan and do things ahead. And most importantly, you must always allot some money for emergencies.

Sean Carter

these are some really helpful tips, thanks! I always have so much fun when I visit Gatlinburg Vacation Rentals but sometimes it is hard to pay attention to your budget. I really can't wait to test them out

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