Sunday, June 27, 2010

Back from Vacation....part 2.....Budget Blunders

UGH.  This actually started before we even left our street.  Not a good way to start vacation.

The DVD Player Story:

I have already said that I am all about planning, and there should be no reason to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  And the night before we left....I wasn't.  G-man....that was a different story.  He is in charge of  "electronics" for our trips.  This includes installation of DVD players, chargers, etc.  I should have known that something was going to happen on this front.  When he snapped at me that he couldn't find the car charger for Bossy's DVD player, the curse was placed.  He did find it eventually (in a place that neither of us can figure out how it got there, but since he is in charge of was all one to blame but himself).

Back to the start of our trip.....Bossy said his movie wasn't on.  G-man looked at it...the player wasn't working.  20 minutes later....still not working.  No matter wasn't going to work.  Well, isn't that just ducky.  It was 6:20 in the morning and we had traveled 3 miles.  No way we could go 14 more hours without one.  So we ran over to Kmart....they didn't open until 8am.  Ran to Walmart....they didn't open until 7am.

Decided to head on down the road and stop at the first big box store that opened along the way.  At 6:50 we tried Target....nope, they weren't open yet.  Hit another Walmart at 6:58 and walked in as the doors were opening.  Half hour later, we were ready to hit the road with a new DVD player and the tune of $121.  Of course the cheapest one they had was out of stock.  So I went for the cheapest I could get, at $99.  Needed a way to mount it to the seat...hence the case.  (our previous one didn't need a case because it was a seat mount style to start with).

I put it on a CC.  I wasn't happy about it.  But I knew I didn't have available cash at the moment.  And I knew that 14 hrs in the car without one wasn't an option either.  I am not sorry we did it though.  He was happy as a clam, and with the headphones I got for both kids, it made for a very quiet trip.

G-man claims that he tried out the now broken player the night before and it was fine.  I am doubtful he tried it out.  I really think he was mad that he couldn't find the charger and just installed it without turning it on.  If it didn't work the night before, then we could have gotten another one....using emergency fund or savings account money and not used a CC.  I have to take his word that he tried it out...but I also know my husband.....he didn't try it out and wasn't going to admit it.


This is a mixed bag story.  Part of the budget blunders are from just buying food for the car and G-man buying too much perishable stuff.   Like I said, we were able freeze some, so it wasn't a total wash.  But trying to go from my mom's to mother-in-law, and then home....trying to pack food for the trip became more difficult as we went as our patience was wearing out, we were spending money we hadn't planned for, and G-man and I were at odds.

The rest of this story involves my parents.  My mom keeps Kosher in her home, which, when you grow up with it, isn't that hard to deal with.  If you haven't grown up with it, it is cumbersome.  But I digress...

Mom failed to buy food for our trip.  Or should I say....enough food.  Father's dad was out of sorts, and their brilliant idea to go out to dinner was not so brilliant.  As I tried to explain to reservations on a "holiday" does not equal a pleasant dining experience.

So I went to the store to get some stuff to cook out on the grill.  As I mentioned...Mom keeps Kosher....which is very expensive when buying meat.  I got some chicken and steak...and spent over $60 just on meat that was for one dinner (and a small amount left over).  Add in sides, and the additionally things mom asked me to pick up....I was at $130.  Totally not budgeted for.

Then add in when G-man and I went out to dinner alone.  My parents had said they wanted to treat us to a massage while we were there, but we passed on that idea and said that we would rather a dinner alone.  They said fine.  Well, silly us thought that when they offered to TREAT for the massage and we came up with an alternative...that it was still a TREAT.  Nope, guess not.  $80 for dinner.  I had wanted to go some place cheaper, but G-man wanted more of a 'date' night (which turned into a disaster which again, would go into another blog!).

Day trips:

I already admitted that we didn't save up enough for our vacation day trips, but were going to do it anyway.  Well, we planned for one day trip....and then Dad threw in another.

While at my parents' house, we took the kids to a Discovery Museum.  Mom didn't go that day because SHE was out of sorts that time.  Dad picked up the tickets, but due to the timing, we ended up having lunch there (never mind that I wanted to go after lunch at home.....).  And Dad let me get lunch....$45.

While at my mother in law's...we planned on taking the kids to the aquarium...the one thing we did plan for.  Tickets....$138.  Mother in law picked up lunch.  And then parking was $22.  Oh, and it was an additional half tank of gas!!  So our out of pocket expense for this adventure was about $185!!!!!!*sigh*  If it was just this one expense that we didn't have saved up for, I would have been ok with it.  But at this point, we were about $375 over and above any expense we had anticipated.

By the end of our vacation....we had charged about $500 worth of expenses over and above what we had cash for or had prepurchased.  OUCH.


  1. My Husband and I just had a "visiting vacation" like that. We can home without any leftover cash and a bonus $385 charged on our credit card. I paid it off the minute we got home, but it still stung.

  2. I always end up spending more than I plan on vacation. Without fail.

  3. Big ticks for well behaved children on holidays. :)

    We don't holiday often, but it always seems to go over what we 'budget' for.

  4. Mysti: In our house we have iniated the use of the word "No" quite heavily..especially on our journey. "No, we'll be going home for lunch" "No, I got Hebrew Nationals and buns for $6.00"; "No, date night is a walk around the block without the kids". We are probably the most boring people - and i know we tick people off...but, when we went to Disneyland for a week in May...not only did we do it without a credit card...we actually came back ith cash left over. But, as you said in previous is going to take BOTH of you - or else you look like the crazy one :)

  5. @ Lauren - glad you were able to pay it off quick. Mine will be partly paid by the end of the week, and the rest next month.

    @ Anonymous - glad we aren't the only ones who do this. The big question is 1) why do we do it, or 2) why do we fail to budget more in?

    @ Figgy - hey! Long time no see! Yes, well behaved kids are a bonus.

    @Melissa and Jeff -you guys totally rock. I want to be you!

  6. Stop kicking yourself so hard! You would've spent more if you didn't have a budget in the first place. I go over budget too, but it's always worse when I don't count at all.

  7. I was laughing as I read your post, but it was a rueful laugh--been there and done that way too many times. Part of it for me is remembering family vacations that were ruined for me as a child because my parents constantly worried aloud about the money they were spending. Contrast that with one magical summer that both my sister and I remember as the best summer of our lives--we went to the beach or the lake nearly every day, had picnics every day and both parents were with us the whole time. What we discovered years later was that my father was on strike that summer and they had little money for food except hotdogs, ergo, all the picnics. I know that I always spent more than I intended on family vacations.