We did great in some areas -
- Food Budget - We only ate at restaurants once per day. We bought groceries at Walmart for the rest of our meals and snacks which helped to cut down a lot on our grocery budget. I originally estimated $1,000 for food.
- Gas - I had no idea how much we would spend on gas. I wasn't sure if we would try to drive an hour to a beach or any other entertainment. We ended up sticking pretty close to our hotel. We only spent $18 on gas out of the $300 I budgeted!
- I also had an additional $600 budgeted for Souvenirs and extra entertainment expenses.
It sounds like we did amazing and should have come in way under budget but we had quite a few additional expenses.
- Car Rental taxes and fees. I booked our car rental as part of a package with our Airfare through Allegiant. What I didn't realize was that in the fine print, it said that car rental fees and taxes were not included. This ended up totaling an additional $66.
- Car Rental Jump - Someone, who will not be mentioned by name, left the keys in the rental car ignition the second night which ran down the battery. Not only did we waste almost an hour of our morning searching for the keys throughout the hotel room and resort, we then couldn't find anyone to jump the car. The hotel wouldn't do it for liability reasons?! So I had to call Alamo and request a jump. Charge: $70. (I might be able to get part of this reimbursed through our road side assistance through our car insurance company. I just need to remember to check into it.)
- My hair. I do my own hair at home and have been wanting to go lighter. So the morning before we left, I used a lightening kit. It turned out very, very yellow, almost orangish. It wasn't awful, but my daughter described the color as "chicken nugget". I left it for the week of vacation but decided on the last day I couldn't take it anymore. So I went to a salon in Orlando and had it color corrected. Total with tip $180! I didn't purchase any souvenirs for myself so my hair being a color I liked was my "souvenir".
Then I made a big financial mess by trying to be proactive and forgetting about what I had done. A lot of our bills are due by the 10th of the month. Since we were coming home from Vacation on the 4th, I thought I would be proactive and set up all the payments before leaving on vacation. Big mistake. I forgot I did this and repaid all of these bills once I got home from vacation and had received my monthly paycheck. Not realizing a paid for bills twice this month until I saw them deducted from our account 1 day apart: 2 car payments, condo fees for 2 condos and the mortgage for our rental property, totaling an additional $1135. The good thing is that we have the money in our emergency fund that I can transfer over to cover all the payments this month. Then next month I won't have to pay these bills and I can pay our emergency fund back.
Overall, even with all the extra expenses, we still had $130 left of vacation money which was put back into savings for our next trip.