I know that many of you who read this blog were waiting with bated breath for a Financial Tip Friday or other personal finance post last week. I am sorry I didn’t post anything but I was away on business, specifically I was presenting research at a conference in Las Vegas. Now before anybody starts reading into….ooooh….Las Vegas let me say that Vegas is fine, but it really isn’t my scene. I mean I gamble every once in a while. Heck, my parents live about 6 miles from a casino and I only live about 7 miles from one now (and I have been in there twice….both times to use the restroom and then I left….exciting huh).
The primary reason I went to Las Vegas was to see my family. My brother, my sister-in-law, and my nephew live there. My brother and his wife are teachers and we hadn’t seen our nephew in almost two years. Mrs. ROB had never met him before. So it was great to see family and commiserate with old friends.
I also go to see some very dear people to me. We have a tradition where we go out for a fancy dinner and blow a bunch of money. This year was no different. It was a good meal, but even better company.
I knew that spending was coming, but when I counted up all of the additional spending that we did, which wasn’t covered by my travel funds, it kind of blew my budget for the month of November. In fact, when I calculated it up today we spent almost $2000.
Here is a breakdown of the costs:
$450–Plane Ticket (for Mrs. ROB)
$250–Car Rental (and gas)
$140–Hotel Activity Fee (my university covered the basic room, but not the activity fee)
$150–Grand Canyon tour (this was actually a lot of fun and we enjoyed it immensely. It was a short trip to Las Vegas)
$82–Two movies (yes, we saw two movies while we were away on business…..better than gambling)
$10–Gambling (Mrs. ROB lost $10; I never tried anything)
$700–Food (yes I know this is a lot…but about half of this was on our one night out. That still doesn’t justify busting the per diem).
I didn’t think we were going to spend that much money. I thought maybe we could keep it under $1000, but as it turned out no. That is why I have a bit of a convention hangover and my credit card got a workout.
Some of this was actually paid ahead of time. So Mrs. ROB’s ticket was actually purchased months ago, as was the car rental. However, that still leaves a bunch of money on my credit card, which I didn’t properly budget for. This maybe the first time in months that I don’t have the funds to fully pay off my credit card. So something has to give. I am thinking about changing the payment on my personal loan, which I can do because I have paid so much on it this year to provide those extra funds to the credit card.
I know that I shouldn’t feel that bad. I will actually get about $250 back from my university and I actually made some additional money doing focus groups for some publishers. However, I still spent WAY more money than I had anticipated and it has me a little embarrassed and a bit distraught (that isn’t the right word…mad at myself would be better) at this debt. I guess I just don’t want to get back into trouble with credit cards. I am back into debt to them again.
And the holidays are around the corner. I am planning to restrain my spending a bit this year, but this still won’t clear up my credit card debt. Hopefully, I can figure out something to make this debt go away. And I do have a larger question for the peanut gallery coming up that I plan to ask next week.
What do you think? Until the next post.