boats on the bay + a finances talk.

Friday, July 8, 2011


i always get the guilt trip after any vacation we take. ed and i are headed to aruba in august (a 3 year belated REAL honeymoon, if you will) and i can't help but question our traveling. i say that like we travel all the time, and we NEVER do. i've never even left the country! can you believe that?

i honestly feel like we should travel more and so does ed. there are so many places we'd like to go and we have no small humans holding us back. nor will we have any small humans for the next 5-10 years in case you're wondering when this will turn into a mommy blog. mark you calendars.

but with travel comes the guilt. week long get aways, as you know, are a huge chunk of change. when we start planning trips, i can't help but think how that huge chunk of change needs to go into our savings. or how that $1500 flight could have bought me a new lens to further my photography business. or heck, ed needs a new suit for work.

like most couples our age, we are tired of throwing our money down the drain on rent. we've made a goal to buy (yikes!) our very own new york apartment by the time we're 30. too bad 30 keeps getting closer and closer.

the question i keep asking myself.... how do you save like mad crazy for a down payment, and not feel guilty about frivolous purchases at the same time?

sorry to get all serious on a friday.

39 comments:

amanda jane said...

I'm a huge fan of travel and I agree...we need more of it our lives! :)

Kelly said...

I personally say go for the travel! It's an investment in yourself and it's proven that experiences, rather than things, make you happier! It can also be done cheaply in the developing world... anyways hope you have a FABULOUS honeymoon!

Amanda said...

I struggle with the same dilemma all the time! I'm trying to focus on enjoying life and travel while I can, rather than being consumed with the stress and guilt of spending the money. These experiences are priceless in the long run.
Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog yesterday!! Have a lovely weekend!

PoetessWug said...

Times have certainly changed. I remember when hubby and I were newly married. Our only real goal was to love each other and 'stay' happy married! We weren't thinking about a plan for kids (which we never had either), a plan to own a home, or anything of the sort. We just took it as it came. :-) We went lots of places. And we're married almost 29 years...happily. No big mansion. No house full of kids. No debt! Mission Accomplished!!! ^_^ Advice from an old lady: Don't think to hard about it, or you'll forget the most important things in life until it's too late to do anything about 'em!

Erin said...

Becca - at 42 (ouch!), I regret not traveling more when I was younger. Go, go, go! Life is short. Suits and a new lens will come, but for now - go. Start planning the trip After Aruba.

rebecca said...

poetess-
thanks for sharing your advice. what an accomplished life you have already lived. taking things "as they come" is such a foreign concept these days. we're pressured to plan for retirement, buy a home, and make some babies before it's too late.

erin-
i know you're right. i absolutely do. the more we travel, the further away i see our dream home. however, 10 years from now i don't want to be saying coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Mo Pie, Please said...

We are this close to owning our home (we've been given the run around for a few weeks now, we should have been living there for a week now) and we've had a tough time. I don't earn any money right now so it's all my husband's doing to save up for us (although I had a great paying job that I hated before and I managed to save a lot from that). My husband got a serious bonus last year so it all went into savings. We managed to go on some trips throughout the year and we're doing okay. You can make it work...just set aside whatever amount of money you think is doable and do it every time you get a paycheck.

About Last Weekend said...

I think travel is the best way to spend money - ever. Never feel bad about it. My motto has always been - spend money on experiences - not things. Which is why we only bought a small apartment many years into our relationship and for most of our 15 years together we have rented (own our own house now). Also you can travel for surprisingly little. I did five months travel on $70 a week when i was single.

Andrea@FancyThat! said...

I'm in the same boat, lady. We're both just now gainfully employed, but there are so many items on our list of we-needs and to-dos: save for a new-used car, save for a home, save for adoption...but at the same time we don't want to waste our youth. I honestly don't see how other people do it without racking up debt.

Sarita said...

omg i love those photos ! so simple and beautiful!! i really want to go sailing to the sea now...<3

xoxo

erstwhiledear said...

I wonder if this is why concepts like the vacation-change-jar, or "never spend five dollar bills and put them all under the mattress" work. We almost need rituals or systems to be able to do both: save and spend well. I think a big splurge is particularly worth it when it helps you live simply in other areas.

Erika Lee Sears said...

Travel is a great way to spend money (sounds so funny saying that). I think and this is just me its ok to splurge on lifetime experiences. Me and the hubby cut out a lot of extra so we can travel every year.

I think saving for everything is that you need a budget- and you put money aside when you get paid and not with what's left over and you can't be too strict on yourself. Next if I had to buy a house now I would look into doing an FHA loan because it's better financing and better rates. Also NYC has amazing co-op deals which I would also look into. New York is probable one of the most expensive cities to buy because when you buy you have to pay CEM tax- which is ridiculously high. I would suggest when you are figuring out how much to buy- google and calculate the tax because it needs to be in your budget. And NYC is a attorney state for realestate. NYC has high taxes because when you own you have to pay county/burrough and school tax.

So hopefully I didn't overwhelm you lol- I worked in finance forever until I quit to be an artist full time. I think the best way to not fill overwhelmed is make a budget and make sure you know all the fees especially in NYC to buy a home. :)

rebecca said...

erika-
thank you for taking the time to inform me. i had no idea! i made some notes for future reference, thanks to you.

Silver Strands said...

Aruba!?! Wow! That'll be great - love the boat pics.

Kate (Embarrassment of Riches) said...

In my experience, being a homeowner is overrated :) I didn't even have a yard to take care of, and nothing ever went wrong with our condo - in fact, we loved living there. But if you need to sell for whatever reason, it's a pain in the ass, and we didn't experience any of the tax benefits of home ownership we thought we would.

Experiences gained through travel, on the other hand, are totally worth the money!

stephanie said...

When we decided to buy a house we knew that we wanted as large a down payment as possible, so we actually cut down on our traveling for about 18 months. For me, I had to think about the goal...ALL THE TIME, otherwise I would super annoyed that we weren't doing anything with out money. But I made sure that we still bought what we needed and did things for fun...but we just cut down on the big stuff. And keep in mind, it's only temporary, the cutting back. Once you get that goal, you can loosen up and spend again. It's all about balance and compromise. Good luck!

Nikki said...

Eek, tough one. When I graduated from College I said I was going to have a little fun, maybe take a trip or two. Instead I got a great paying job two weeks later. Lived with my future FIL for 8 months, saved and bought a house. Now the market tanked and we can't get out (we need more space). If they get rid of the tax benefits I'll rent for the rest of my life. And I want to travel now, but I want kids too. BLAH!

Just think of it how my mother says "Nikki, the Europeans rent their whole lives and no one feels like they're throwing money away" ;)

Katelyn said...

i'm in a similar boat trying to save, but still wanting to live a fun life. i try to cut back on frivolous expenses (like coffee, fast food, everything from the dollar bin at target) and direct it to travel and savings. when you look back, it's the experiences you'll remember, not the stuff.

rebecca said...

katelyn-
yes! we have saved so much money over the past year by eating at home. we go out to dinner on saturday nights and it feels so much more special.

la petite coquine said...

I have a confession to make: when I plan a vacation, I tally up the hotel, flights, estimated food costs-then divide it by my annual base salary. Maybe that makes me a crazy person, but knowing that our vacation makes up only 4% of our take home makes me feel less guilty.

rebecca said...

lena-
NOT crazy. genius. thanks for sharing. :)

rebecca said...

nikki-
i love your mom's advice. owning a house isn't the most important thing in the world. how certain can you be that your needs aren't going to change 5 years from now? i feel like owning a home is almost declaring you aren't going anywhere any time soon. when you're young, that's a hard thing to be sure of.

kate-
sorry to hear about your luck with selling. i guess there's a reason why new yorkers rent for so long. buying here seems so overwhelming at this point. props to you for already having that under your belt.

Rebecca - A Daily Something said...

AH....finances. Sometimes I want to try to forget about them. :-/

And LOL re: your mommy blog comment. I think it's so hilarious watching blogs turn when their authors get preggers. Watch, this will happen to me now.... ;)

Have a wonderful time in Aruba...I'm sure you guys have worked hard for this little vacay!

Andrea @ Strawberry Chic said...

My husband and I made a goal to travel through Europe..that was once upon a time. Now we have a little one and although I wouldn't trade him for the world I wish I would have taken advantage of our 4yrs old married life with no kids to do something adventurous :)

Also, I have learned not to feel bad about spending money (to a certain extent). I figure if we spend our whole lives not doing certain things because they put a dent in our bank account, we will miss out on too many of things life has to offer.

By the way thanks for stopping by my blog, have a great weekend!

April said...

I'm on board with you and don't have any answers. I didn't want to drive to Houston at the end of the month, but felt super guilty throwing $300 on a plane ticket. Saving/still having fun is so tough.

linds.eliz said...

ughhh you took the words right outta my mouth...my family and my boy's family lives in MI and we live in NC. so usually, any flight home is to visit the fam. that also means we don't get to go many other places. we are going to florida in August and are trying to save for the spending cash so we don't dip into rent money and such. we've also never been out of the country but hope to do so for our honeymoon in a few years. there's always money to spend and never money to save :( you're not alone!!

adele said...

Everyone needs a holiday. You will come back refreshed & raring to go on saving for that downpayment xoxo
http://www.intotheblonde.com/

Naurnie said...

i'm so glad you posted this. it is nice to hear sometimes that i am not the only one who feels guilty about things like this! we have been saving money for furniture for our house that we bought last summer, and i sometimes i feel guilty for doing "fun" things for the same reason.

however, on a more FUN note, we went to Aruba on our honeymoon and it was FANTASTIC! you should do one of the jeep tours and DEFINITELY go snorkeling. there is also a super cool restaurant called the flying bonefish that is deeeeelish. have FUN!

rebecca said...

naurnie-
oh sheesh. i forgot once you buy the house, you have to fill it with furniture. even MORE saving. does it end?

i haven't researched aruba yet, so thanks for the trip advice. i think the hardest part of traveling to a new place is finding a decent place to eat.

Ana Degenaar said...

I say you continue to travel, we did that, we only changed to cheaper/still beautiful destinations and saved at the same time.

Confraria dos Nobres said...

Hello Rebeca!
Vim retribuir sua visita. Muitas fotos lindas, lindas em seu blog!
Lara

www.timetochange.over-blog.com said...

That's a hard one! I think you just don't buy anything expensive or travel expensive! We live in a great time. Everything is at hand! We can have our cake and eat it too! Don't worry too much!

Signe said...

I think I am just a bit TOO good to push the guilt away! Then again - I must be suffering from some sort of commitment anxiety so I am in no rush to settle down ;)

We only live once right?

kitchu said...

it's tough to strike a balance, for sure. but it is true that we only get this life once as well- everything in moderation. you aren't talking about taking a trip around the world every single year. choose a few places you really want to see, and damn- you guys DESERVE a honeymoon. add "trips" into your budget/savings, or set up a separate account for that specifically. and there are SO many places you can go that are inexpensive and still incredibly fun and beautiful. do some research on line, including "how to save on vacation tips", etc.

Krystal said...

i have no answers for you - you just have to be really disciplined I guess. I think our age is not good about giving things up - we want instant gratification...or maybe that's just me! ha! but anyway...we went to aruba on our honeymoon years ago!!! enjoy it!

rebecca said...

kitchu-
thanks for the advice. i think the key may be to keep travel money and down payment money in a seperate account. otherwise, i feel like i'm taking from our "dream home fund" and vice versa.

krystal-
i'm with you. if i had some patience i wouldn't be as frustrated in the first place.

Ashley said...

Obviously I'm in the travel camp, but I also think you have to decide what's of most value to you. But if you need help justifying your costs of travel... only count what is truly cost not incurred while home. Don't count your food, for example, if you would spend the same in a week in NY. Also, have you considered apartment swapping? We're timid about it, but Joanna Goddard (Cup of Jo) almost has me convinced--definitely keeps it cheap. And if you haven't done the backpacker-y trip yet, there's no time like the present! Good luck--it's not an easy dilemma. (Though I do agree with Kate re real estate in NYC.)

Stephanie said...

We bought flights to Paris for October back in the spring and now we are on 1 salary...I feel so guilty that we are going, but it would cost a fortune to change our flights. And, living in Chicago in the summer means we want to spend as much time eating and having a drink outside as we can (the winter is long & cold). So, it's a constant fight. I always feel guilty, but I could die tomorrow and then what, ya know? I'd love to find the perfect balance someday!

villas ibiza said...

I also love to travel and explore new place. Meet local people and have some quality time with friends and family.

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