We returned from our trip to Europe with suitcases full of chocolate. It’s been really great to share Swedish, Swiss and German goodies with friends and coworkers back here in Hawaii. We had a wonderful time with my parents and sister and her fiance, and highlights of the trip included spending time on the farm, seeing some larger cities by boat, biking around picturesque Reichenau Island in Lake Constance, and going on an amazing food tour in Venice.
But one thing that hasn’t been the most fun has been dealing with the aftermath of the trip’s effect on my budget.
I think I did very well budgeting and saving for the trip, and overall the expenses we ran up were only over my saved amount by $125. I’ve decided to devote half of this month’s regular monthly transfer to my travel account to covering this overage, and by the time my second paycheck is deposited, the credit card bill should show up. So I won’t carry a balance on my credit card, which is great!
The thing I didn’t take into account was the effect my vacation would have on my paycheck. Because of some rules regarding when my vacation hours can be spent, the hours I earned in August and September couldn’t be used on my vacation that took place in August and September. So I had to take leave without pay for nearly five days of work! This means that essentially my first paycheck for this month is 3/4 of what I would normally get.
In order to deal with this sudden lack of income, I decided to not contribute to my travel fund (which had already been reduced to half to cover the trip overages) or my emergency fund for the month. All my other costs are covered, which is good in terms of feeling secure, but it’s a little disheartening that my goal of fully funding my emergency fund (of 3 months’ worth of living expenses) will be delayed by a month.
For an overview of my budgeting system, see my video and original post on fikaflicka on my one number budget. How do you budget, both on a regular basis and for a goal such as going on a trip?