13
Jun
08

Vacation Planning for Folks With Fluctuating Incomes

In 20 short days I will be hopping a plane and going up a mountain in California, only coming down to go to a Giants game. There will be meat cooked in pits and beer in kegs and more relatives than I could ever hope to remember their names.

I understand some people have this thing called ‘vacation pay’, where their jobs actually pay them to go away. Me? Not so much. That week in July I will be earning no money at all.

Oh, sure, I could not take a vacation and just work my booty off and earn! earn! EARN! My goals in life do not include a heart attack by age 30. No, my goals include maintaining family ties as well as can be done when I’m making my home 700 miles from Home.

So, off I go to the 90-somethingth Fourth of July barbeque and ‘campout’*.

I will still have expenses, though. Not just for gas, eating out, and some of the beer (I am NOT drinking Budweiser, no matter how much crap I have to take from my uncles). When I’m on vacation, my landlord doesn’t stop charging me rent or utilities, and neither does my cell phone provider, my car insurance, et cetera. Now, in the past I didn’t pay attention to that, and just ate a lot of beans and rice and put stuff on Ye Olde Credit Card.

Ye Olde Credit Card is in Ye Olde Tiny Pieces at the bottom of Ye Olde Landfill, so that’s not an option.

The Planning I Did Done for My Vacation:

  1. Figured out I wanted to go at a specific time. This was easier for me since, you know, the Fourth of July is a static date in my world.
  2. Calculated the number of pay periods out the vacation was from current date.  Since my budget isn’t monthly but is based on pay periods, this is important.
  3. Calculated how much it costs me per week to live.
  4. Divided how much it costs me per week to live by how many pay periods left.
  5. Put that amount away in savings every pay period.

Methodical. Simplistic. Boring. The older I get, the more I absolutely LOVE it when my finances are boring.

In other news, Uncle Sam finally gave me back my $600. I had all these plans, ranging from virtuous (bills! Invest! STUDENT LOANS!) to silly (LIPSTICK! In BRIGHT ORANGE!). I’ve got a CD maturing tomorrow, too. I’mna going to sit on it for a while. It’s earning interest in my savings anyway.

 

*My folks built a house on the ancestral property about 8 years ago, so instead of sleeping in the back of a pickup truck, I now get to sleep in a v. comfy pillowtop bed, wake up, shower, and then go down to the campfire, kick my cousins and godsibs out of their cots onto the dirty ground, and have breakfast. This is so awesome I just can’t tell you.

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