Budget & Finance

The Great Save 2017

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This post could also be called:

  • Disneyland here we come
  • My brother’s destination wedding
  • Come for the day, stay for the week
  • Our first family vacation

Those all sound way less cool than THE GREAT SAAAAAVE … so I went with catchy and I’m hoping the bait and switch to a family wedding isn’t going to put you to sleep. I find it terribly exciting that my little brother is getting married. I’m super happy for him. He’s a great guy and his woman is top notch. Great personality, fabulous person, loves my brother. They have been together for years and get along great.

They are also huge, HUGE Disney fans.

So when they finally decided to tie the knot, they decided to do it at Disneyland. He’ll be handsome, she’ll be beautiful, there will be a carriage, and I have no doubt this couple will live Happily Ever Afterâ„¢

We just have to get our family of five to Disneyland, make sure everyone has a wedding-appropriate outfit, get a hotel room, grab park tickets, and ram a vacation into the same week of the wedding. All while thanking every deity we can think of none of us are IN the wedding.

Natually, I want to take the family to Disneyland since we’re already there. I want to keep it on the down low that we’re going to the park because I don’t want the happy couple to think the park is our first priority. None of my kids are “into” Disney and neither are Mr. Brickie and I. It’s cool, but it’s not where we would choose to vacay if it were up to us. We live far too close to Chicago for large crowds and overpriced food to appeal to us. We are, however, 100% down for Uncle Steven getting married! We’re all totally excited about it. If we’re going to be at the park for a wedding it would be silly to pass up the chance to show the kids the amusement park of my childhood. (Some of you might not know I spent a lot of my childhood in California.)

So we need to save.

I know I’ve only been back a week and I swear to you I really do want to pay off my debt.

BUT

My family has never been on vacation. My kids don’t know what it’s like to get on a plane where it’s cold (the wedding is mid-November) and get off the plane where it’s warm. I know that I’m supposed to be all, “Disney!” but I’m more like, “Get them out of their backyard for ten minutes!”

So this isn’t just going to be let’s see Disneyland. This is going to be let’s not worry about money too much AND go see Disneyland.

I’m going to bankrupt us, just watch. (Not really. Mr. Brickie’s income and job growth potential hasn’t maxed out yet.) But WOW Disneyland is expensive. The room alone (with the hefty wedding discount) is $402/night. YEP! I could stay offsite. YEP! I could take a shuttle to the park in the morning. YEP! There is no reason to stay in the hotel my bro is getting married in.

Don’t care. Staying there.

I am all about being debt free and maybeprobably owning a house but what I’m really all about is balance. I want my kids to have experiences today, not remember a childhood filled with nothing but delayed expectations that may never come anyway because life is funny and broken wrists happen sometimes that put you back five or six months financially.

We still haven’t decided how many days to get tickets for Disneyland. We currently plan on flying in Sunday and flying out Saturday. That means five weekdays in Anaheim. One of those weekdays is the wedding. One of those weekdays is the kids spending time with their grandmother. That leaves us three other weekdays. We might just do a two day pass and then spend one day hanging out in the hotel and swimming in the pool or something. I’m pretty open and even if we only spent one day at Disneyland it would be fine.

Now, let’s talk airplanes.

I’m fat. It’s been a few years since I’ve flown and when I did no one looked at me funny but the seats were uncomfortable. I hear they’re uncomfortable for everyone. In fact, if I just mention flying while fat the person I’m talking to will make it a point to try and make their discomfort seem so much worse in an effort to make me feel better. It’s sweet, really. But I just want to be comfortable in the plane. Four hours is a long time. Or I’m just a whiny baby. Either way is okay.

I want to figure out how to fly business class. Something solidly in between economy and first class. More comfortable seats without unlimited free booze, basically. If that’s even a thing. We’ll see.

The point is I’m going to be paying an arm and a leg for this vacation and I have to save money and somehow simultaneously pay down credit card debt.

The lotto is what I’m thinking. I’M KIDDING. Mostly.

But our budgeted expenses for a month are $3100

In case you’re new here, my rent is that low because I pay 4 months when my lease renews in November and then pay the rest of the year’s rent with my tax return. That gives me 8 months to save for 4 months of rent. Which means my numbers are off. $260×8=$2080 and 4 months of rent is $775×4=$3100 – Uh oh. I’m going to have to rewrite that whole thing. I have $835.65 in that savings account now. Assuming I can make a November payment that means I have August/September/October/November to make 3100-835 (2265) happen. 2265/4=566.25

Seriously. Why can’t I math properly?

Okay. Okay. This is just one of those little setbacks that makes you realize you can’t take months off and come back to a pristine budget. I got tired, I slacked off. This is the price I pay for that slacking.

At least during the summer here Mr. Brickie will be making close to that $1032 take home per week so I’ll be able to catch that up pretty quick. Of course that extra thousand dollars a month I thought I had to put toward credit cards or Disneyland is not as much as I thought.

I swear, every time I think I have everything together…. okay, back to the drawing board.