Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September update #1

September has been an unusually jam-packed month so far which has kept me very busy in life but turned me into a complete slacker as far as this blog is concerned.  It's a shame too because so many of the things I've experienced this month have been financially related or perhaps it's just that I can now see the financial impact of every little thing I do!  Either way I wish I had written more as the month progressed, now all I can do is give some updates on how the month has been going so far...

I started September off in New York City (this is where I was when my landlord freaked out about the rent).  My middle sister and I had been planning the trip for a few months, she had found a cheap flight option and we decided Labor Day weekend would be perfect to meet up since we both already had a day off of work. Plus, it was the weekend before my birthday so we would get to see each other near my birthday for the first time in a while.  I know some folks would advise that going on trips when so far in debt is a bad idea and I agree if you're just looking at numbers.  But for me it's not just a numbers thing, spending time with my family and friends is extremely important especially since I live so far away from them.  Traveling and experiencing the world outside of my little day-to-day life is also something I place a high value on.

Since both of us are in the midst of personal finance overhauls and debt pay-off plans we set a very small budget to work with.  We were able to find a pretty inexpensive hostel outside of Manhattan that had a full kitchen so we made breakfast there and also packed snacks to take with us each day.  We also pre-paid for a few meals through Groupon so we could cut our meal budget down even further.  We decided to buy the CityPass, which is bundle of six major tourist attractions at a deeply reduced price, so that we could go to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, some of the major museums, and the Empire State Building.

The trip was fantastic, it was great to be able to spend some one on one time with my sister and to see one of the most amazing cities in the US.  But the truly amazing part is that we (both of whom have been struggling to change our financial habits) were able to set a reduced budget, actually stick to it, have the cash set aside to pay for it, all while having a fantastic time.  We could have easily spent triple what we had budgeted and probably would have if we had taken this very same trip a few years ago!  I am so proud of my little sister and of myself for finally making real changes in the way we handle money!  

So that's how I started the month, I'll post some more September updates soon!

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