We have had a great couple of weeks between my birthday and vacations.
Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money:
- I rented a one bedroom condo for our vacation. We stayed on Tybee Island which is fairly small with a limited number of weekly rentals in our price range. I knew that I wanted to be on the beach, have a kitchen, and have laundry on site all of which narrowed my search even more. It was over $600 less to have a one bedroom vs. a two bedroom so we went for that! It worked out really well.
- Our condo had a kitchen with a microwave, stove, and full size fridge. This meant that we ate at least 2 meals a day at the condo instead of eating out for every meal.
- Our unit had a regular washer and dryer. I was happy to find a unit with laundry services that were not coin operated. I did about 10 loads while we were gone so I was very glad to have this amenity. It would have been expensive and time consuming to have to use a laundry mat.
- When we first started traveling some, Mark and I started making pressed pennies on trips. We loved, especially as college kids, that they were fun $.51 souvenirs. We continued doing this for each of the kids as they came along. The kids were able to add quite a few to their collection this trip. Annabeth knows that this is what she gets from each place so she never asks for big expensive toys at museums and zoos.
- In addition to the pressed pennies, we brought back lots of sand and shells from the beach. I love when nature provides the memories!
- We planned and budgeted for this vacation for 18 months. I set up a savings plan as soon as we decided to go. We saved money from extra jobs as well as Christmas and Birthday money. We made a budget and we stuck to it.
- My friend Ann sent me a Thank You note and included a set of personalized address labels! It was so sweet of her and I love the labels with our family picture on them. Thank you Ann.
- The kids each received money for Valentine's Day. We added the money to their college savings accounts.
- I received my quarterly Ebates check. I made $5.99 and added that amount to Owen's savings account. In less than two years of using Ebates, I have made back $82.15 and I don't even shop online that often!
- Mark and I have committed to being healthier in 2017 and beyond. I looked into a lot of different exercise plans and quickly realized that our schedule doesn't work well for me to consistently get to the fitness classes offered at our church or a friends church. I looked at some of the MLM type systems and quite honestly they were just insanely expensive. So...I have lost 10 pounds already this year (vacation stalled that for a week or two) by eating healthy, walking in our neighborhood, and by checking out different workout DVDs from the library. All free! :)
- We dog-sat for a friend. She was having her house cleaned so we kept her dog a couple of mornings. She brought over his crate and bed so we didn't have him running all over. The money she paid us became the beginning of our next vacation fund.
Owen LOVES dogs. He was thrilled to have one visiting and spent
the whole day playing with him.
- Mark worked one shift at his part time job.
It took a few days, especially since Mark left for Winter Camp almost as soon as we arrived home from Georgia, but we are back into the swing of life and school. We are looking forward to a fun weekend ahead.
Happy Savings to All!