The other day I was ruminating over the best and worst ways in which I’ve spent my dough. I was surprised to find that travel ranked pretty high on each of those lists.
Best ways I’ve spent my money: Travel. Education. My laptop. My Repetto booties.
Worst ways I’ve spent my money: Travel. Eating out. Buying more clothing than I’ll ever need.
Repetto. Charming ballet/shoe store in Paris.
So, how does the same item end up topping both lists you ask?
Travel is something that has played a major part in my recent life, and has been sprinkled throughout my early 20s. A dash of Italy here. A hint of Paris there. Some of it I wouldn’t change for the world – I had always wanted to visit Italy, France, and Greece to name a few. I was happy to have been able to save the money and go while I was as young as I was. Carpe diem, right?
I said yes to everything. Friend needs a roommate for her Cuba grad trip? Yes! Friend has always wanted to visit British Columbia, want to come? Yes! Hey, wanna go to the Dominican? Yes! I felt like I was always entitled to trips because I worked hard and made money. Oh wait, that’s not even true because I had no income when I took those three trips. I never budgeted so I never knew what I could and could not afford and didn’t even think about how much I was spending on each trip. Since I never did it back then, let’s guesstimate and tabulate my costs now…you know, just for some PF fun.
Costa Rica. Spot the alligator?
Trips I loved
- Italy/France – $2,000
- Greece/England – $2,000
- Costa Rica- $1,500
Grand Total: $5,500
Trips I could have done without
- Vancouver – $1,000
- Spain – $2,000
- Cuba – $1,300
- Dominican Republic – $1,300
- Alberta – $1,000
Grand Total: $6,600
(Note: None of this includes my month in Paris that cost well in excess of $7k. Not even sure which category it falls under.)
Uh, what? My absolutely unnecessary, sometimes spur of the moment trips probably cost more than the ones I really value? And as much as I like to tell myself I earned and paid for my major European trips, the fact that I didn’t go further into debt to travel does not discount the fact that I stalled my debt repayment to travel. *Guilty feelings*
That, my friends, is the reason that traveling is the best and worst thing I’ve ever done. I love the idea of getting to know a new city and culture. I love meeting the people, trying the food, visiting the sites. The lesson for me though, is to use some financial sense while doing the things you love. Budget, figure out what is really important to you and make the time and money for it.
And that’s that!
Do you ever regret traveling?