Saturday, May 4, 2013

Vacation {Budgeting} Planning Mini Sessions: Lesson 2

If you're new to this class, you will want to read Lesson One first.

If you've done your homework then you're ready to move on to the next step. I take my list and begin to assign "prices" (the budget) for each activity and meal.

In the area of meals, I figure up a meal budget by assigning a price I would pay per person and then multiplying that by five, since we are a family of five. So, for a fast food meal I would assign $7.00 per person, or $35.00 per my family. This is a high estimate for my family as we can usually eat at a fast food restaurant for less than $25.00. I over-estimate to allow some cushion.

For table service meals I generally assign between $13-$20 per person depending on the restaurant. If we have a specific restaurant in mind I research online to see if I can locate a menu with pricing and reviews. This helps eliminate surprises and allows me to be prepared. I pad the amount to consider tax and tip on the meals.

Even though we do not plan to eat out for every meal, I still assign every meal a price and work to fill that envelope with cash (except breakfast). One of the reasons I do this is because before we started planning our vacations this way we would often make last minute decisions about eating out that we had not planned for ahead of time. Eventually, these decisions would trickle down onto our credit card when I ran out of cash. Now, I have cash in hand if we decide to eat out. I do not go home with a credit card bill; we do not own a credit card.

I also have an envelope for groceries which will cover eat-in meals. I will talk about this next time. But in case you were wondering that, you still fill in an amount for every meal. After our initial trip to Krispy Kreme, we eat breakfast every morning at the townhouse.

For activities, I do tons of research looking for pricing and deals. I find the highest price we would pay to do an activity and assign that price in my notebook. Then I look for deals to beat that price. It is my mission to come in under budget.

 Homework: Assign prices to each line item on your "Our Week" calendar.


God is good, all the time!

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