Over the weekend my wife and I started preparations for our Mediterranean cruise that we'll be going on next month. We went shopping for clothes, bought secure travel bags for carrying our things around and began doing some research for the tours we'll be taking.
Our cruise will not be a frugal expense to say the least – even though we're not paying for the cruise itself (in-laws are paying for that). We are paying for all the off-ship excursions, which cost us about $2000. We also will have to pay for any meals off of the ship, souvenirs, clothing (we're buying clothes for the “formal” dinners on the ship), along with a ton of other travel gear that you never would even think of needing.
While every fiber of my being is revolting against spending so much money for this cruise, I know these types of trips don't come along very often, and when they do you need to take advantage. As such we've thrown our budget out the window for the next month or so. We aren't putting a limit on our clothes, eating out or blow money categories while we're on this trip – we've put the budget on hold. At the same time all of the money for this trip has already been saved, so we're not putting anything on credit. I think that is important.
I think having one of these free months every once in a while isn't necessarily a bad thing – it helps to keep us refreshed and on track. Once we come back from our trip – it'll be back on track with retirement savings, cutting expenses and so forth.
So while we were getting ready for our trip, here are some of the articles I read this weekend:
- Frugal Fridge Repair @ remodeling this life: Fixing it yourself is always cheaper than buying something new!
- Would you prefer a 4 day workweek? @ Cashmoneylife.com: Ryan looks at a shorter work week. Would you like a shorter week?
- PT Money Raps about paying yourself first @ ptmoney.com: Extremely funny rap video from PT over at PTmoney.com
- What is the difference between frugal and cheap? @ Christianpf.com: Are you frugal, or just plain cheap?
- Things we don't do ourselves @ sensetosave.com: Sometimes you just want to pay someone else to do the job for you.
- Your emergency fund – what qualifies as an emergency? @ consumerismcommentary.com: What constitutes an emergency at your house?
- Do Variable Annuities pose a systemic risk @ milkyourmoney.com
- Unexpected expenses @ paidtwice.com: Have you had any unexpected expenses this year? I know we have.
- Credit report vs. credit score @ freefrombroke.com: what's the difference?
- Your site is now worth something! @ Myinvestingblog.com: Find out what YOUR site is worth.
Here are a few of my popular articles from last week:
- My guide to making money with cashcrate.com: I've already made almost $30 this month using Cash Crate, after getting a check for $27+ last month. If you haven't checked it out yet, give it a shot!
- Meeting Governor Tim Pawlenty: Last week we met the Governor of Minnesota. It was a lot of fun, and he was very nice in person.
- Take advantage of manufacturer’s warranties, but don’t buy extended warranties: I talk about my experiences using warranties, and NOT buying extended warranties.
- Are you building credit, or just going into debt? : I talk about the negative impact of debt, and the lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about debt.