Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boston Trip Sum Up

Wow, I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation! I got back from Boston late Sunday night (well, I technically got home early Monday morning...), and have been feeling absolutely exhausted since. Apparently I can't stay up late like I used to! But of course you don't want to hear me complain; it's time for me to report the "damage" from this trip.

I had always really only accounted for the airfare and hotel portion of travel and not pay much attention to cash flow while I'm traveling. This time around, it's the perfect opportunity for me to get a better understanding of what/how I spend during my trips. As I explained in my last post, I promised myself to only go on this trip if I didn't have to pay for airfare and housing. It worked out, so my entire focus was on where my money went while I was in Boston (and at the airport).

I came up with a very rough budget of $200 before the trip. It was kind of a worst case scenario situation. I estimated 10 bucks per meal for 4 days and assumed that I'd eat every meal. That's $120. I left myself another 80 bucks for transportation, drinks, and other miscellaneous spending.

Turns out I overestimated by quite a bit. I spent a total of $148.49, about 75% of my budget. After coming out of the airport terminal, I put $5 on my Charlie Card for use on the T (subway) and buses for the next few days. Instead of taking a cab, I rode the T to my friend's place. However, I was too tired to do the same on the way back, so I took a cab. That set me back by $32. As predicted, the rest of the money went to food and drinks. I didn't eat every meal I budgeted for, nor did I shell out $10 for each meal. Lucky for me (and my wallet), I managed to get some free food out of organized reunion events. It turns out my traveling habits are very similar to how I usually spend my discretionary fund. I ate multiple small meals (and coffee, of course) and shared food with friends in order to maximize my time/budget for socializing. This way, I still had some money left to go out at night and buy a few drinks.

Now that I know what my spending patterns are like while traveling, I’ll be able to budget my two upcoming trips better. Hopefully, this will help me save more money in the future.


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