Just recently my family and I went on our first “real” family vacation to no other than….the beach! Since this was our first vacation as a family I was super worried about going budget because let’s be honest, going on vacation to the beach with five people isn’t exactly cheap.
And because I know that y’all are curious to know what our budget was and if we went over or not and how we spent our money on vacation, I decided to share our real numbers and how we managed to make this vacation work for less than our budget!
Since many of y’all know that my family doesn’t use credit cards, y’all wanted to know how we managed to go on vacation using nothing but cash. This post here explains how we saved up the money, but the best thing we did was make a budget for our cash vacation, which is below.
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We stayed on Tybee Island and it was so much fun and honestly, we didn’t want to come home! Our overall total budget was a $1,000. And to be honest, I was a little worried we’d go over the budget, but thankfully, we managed to stay below our overall budget!
|Gas + Convenience Store||$150.00||$112.06|
So, as you can see, we managed to stay under our overall budget but we went way over in our “Extra Supplies” category and I didn’t even have “Laundromat” accounted for originally.
How We Managed to Stay Under Budget
We decided to rent a 400 SQFT cabin versus renting a beach house or paying for a hotel room. The cabin we stayed in was located in the River’s End Campground so we had access to their Laundromat and pool. We were also super close to the beach so we were able to walk which helped save us money on paying for beach parking.
The only bad part was that the beach we were closet to was the “brackish” beach so you didn’t get the full beach experience like further down the island. Oh and it meant that there were more jellyfish and I ended up getting stung by one…not fun.
***Tip: pack apple cider vinegar in your beach bag because it immediately takes the sting from a jellyfish sting out. The woman that came to my rescue with her bottle of apply cider vinegar, if you’re reading this, thank you! 🙂
Another thing we did was bring our groceries from home. Since we drove, we just packed the car with our groceries from home which helped to save us a ton on dining out.
And since we’re avid campers, we have all kinds of camping gear like an awesome camp stove that allowed us to cook meals at the cabin (the cabins don’t have stoves in them). So we didn’t have to go out to eat as often.
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How We Went Over Some Areas of Our Budget
We weren’t expecting all three of our children during the course of our trip to wet the bed. In one night two of our three kids wet the bed and then the very next night, the other one wet the bed! So it ended up costing us close to $20 to get the laundry done. So that was definitely an “expected expense”.
And since we weren’t expecting to have to do laundry while on vacation, we ended up having to spend more money in our “extra supplies” category because we had to buy laundry detergent but we also went over in this category because Daddy decided he wanted to take the boys fishing.
It was totally worth the expense!
The key to sticking to any budget is to first make the budget and then to track your expenses. I know that sounds challenging especially whenever you’re on vacation, but it doesn’t have to be cumbersome. You can just pull out the cash for your trip and divide it up into the different categories by using the cash envelope system or you can even just keep a small notebook or notepad handy with a different page for each category with the total budget for that category listed at the top. Then whenever you spend money in that category, you simply just record it on the appropriate page.
There’s no right or wrong way to stick to your budget. Just remember that when you go over money in one category, you must re-balance the budget by taking money from another category.
What are your tips for making a beach vacation on a budget possible?
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