Saturday, January 7, 2012

Europe Budget

Okay, so here are the dirty details. I've purchased a round-trip ticket from LA to Brussles. (We'll take the train from Brussels to Amsterdam right away and then come back to Belgium for a few days at the end of our trip before we fly home) The damage for the tickets was $889. Frankly, I was thrilled to find a round trip ticket to Europe for under $1,000. I used my emergency fund to buy those tickets, since I didn't plan on such a big trip ahead of time.

I'm budgeting another $1500 for the rest of the trip. This will include my train ticket from Brussels and Amsterdam and back, transportation once we're there, food, and hotels. We both want to keep the trip cheap, so I think we'll be on the same page. We'll share a hotel room, and we're talking about doing a hostel in Belgium in order to save a little more money. I don't do souvenirs (other than postcards, a little something for BF, and Christmas ornaments for me), so I don't need to budget too much for that.

Here's how I'll make it happen, without derailing other goals:
*My National Boards back pay should come in February's check, which I believe will be about $600 (three months worth, since I've been certified since December and have yet to be paid).
*I'll also have around $200 on National Boards money in March's paycheck, so I'll add that to my travel fund.
*I'm going to use the money in my ING Direct account as my travel fund. It's been my house fund, but I'm okay raiding it for my trip. Once my $100 sharebuilder bonus posts, that will be just over $200.
*I think I can also save at least $100 a month out of my regular budget, which gives me $300 more.

*For those of you keeping score, that's $1300. For the last $200 I'm hoping that my tax refund will allow me enough to put $2000 towards my student loans and still have the other $200 I need for my trip. If it's comparable to previous years, I should have that and a little extra for my E-fund, to start to make up for raiding it to buy plane tickets.

When I get back, if I put the National Boards money towards my E-fund, and keep finding an extra $100 to save each month, I should have it to six month levels by August, which is only two months off of my original goal. I'm okay with this minor setback in my goals. Once my student loan is paid off in October I will focus on my house down payment fund goal for the last few months of the year.


  1. this sounds awesome to me! I'm all about traveling so I understand making some changes in your budget to accommodate this opportunity.

  2. Arggh, this wasn't supposed to post until later in the week! Grrr...