The Deal Mommy

The choices I make; The choices I don’t

The Deal Kids enjoy our new (rental) car, Quebec, 2012

The Deal Kids enjoy our new (rental) car, Quebec, 2012

I was out with some frequent traveler friends after the travel show and the topic of how others perceive us came up. Because most assume travel has to be expensive (and whatever you hear, it isn’t free), they also assume that people who travel frequently either:

  • have a mega-job (or a spouse with one) or
  • a trust fund

I’m here to report that I don’t have either!  I’m not claiming poverty, but in the DC suburbs we live solidly in the middle of the road.

So how am I spending almost a month in Europe this summer after spring break in Florida, Memorial Day week in Williamsburg and weekends in New York and London, and how did we take so many trips last year including Thanksgiving in New York City and 24 days last summer?  Points and miles help of course, but the bottom line is it’s all about choices. By making the choice to travel I leave other choices behind.

Three immediately spring to mind:

  1. The new car smell.  We haven’t had a car payment since 2008, and don’t anticipate having one until it no longer feels safe not to have one.  That frees up at least $6K a year (on two cars) even considering we what we spend on maintenance.
  2. House Beautiful.  Our furniture is almost all 2nd hand, purchased at consignment stores.  We lucked out on our dining set and living room credenza, buying teak 15 years ago for peanuts when it was out of vogue.  Now, it’s “mid-century modern” which gives us a good chuckle!
  3. Date night. (and this I regret)  We’re really bad at paying for a babysitter, knowing it’s at least $50 for a night out before we even leave the house!  I need to get better at sucking it up on this expense.

What DON’T you buy so you can travel?




6 thoughts on “The choices I make; The choices I don’t

  1. Becky @ New Girl in the Air

    I skimp on all the things people my age spend tons on: cell phone plans, cable TV, movies, gadgets, $100 nights out at the bar/club, designer handbags, Starbucks…

    Between the money I save on those things and the tips I know to get a travel deal, I can travel way more often than my friends without breaking the bank, and still have money leftover for date night too 😉

    1. The Deal Mommy Post author

      Just wait till you have to add a babysitter to the mix. It’s not the date night activity that kills me, it’s paying the teenager.

  2. Mr. Pickles

    1. I don’t have a car payment either.
    2. My furniture is chewed up by a parrot.
    3. I watch all of my movies in business class.
    4. I usually skip lunch.

    Not much difference.

  3. jamie

    I’ve always loved travel and always loved a deal, but this year after discovering TPG and FTG via the Chicago Trib (sorry, I am one of those people attracted to The Game by the mainstream media) I’ve been putting the two together like never before.
    Over the past couple of years we have..
    1. Cut the cord on the cable. We did replace it with a much cheaper FoxSoccer2Go online thing, so we could still watch Liverpool FC!
    2. When the lease was up on the mini-van… we just gave it back. And didn’t get anything else to replace it. My daughter’s school is a short walk. My husband works from home once or twice a week. I haven’t missed having a second car.
    3. Our decorating style is along the lines of…”You’re moving into an apartment and getting ride of that chair/table/bookshelf? We’ll take it. Thanks Grandma/Mom/Cousin”

    I feel your pain on the babysitter front. Adding $50 to a night out makes it pretty hard to stomach. What movie is really worth $80? We try to take advantage of visits from my parents, though, to get a free night of babysitting.

    1. The Deal Mommy Post author

      Hi Jamie and welcome!

      No need to be sorry…I got here the same way too!

      You’ve actually done some stuff I haven’t been willing to, yet. I’m THIS close to getting rid of the cable and going just hulu/netflix/amazon prime. We’ll see how the kids do after this month in Europe with MUCH more limited TV options. 10 days in and their heads are still attached…just barely.

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