A dear cousin recently got engaged and the wedding date will likely be set for the summer. Weddings in my family are a fun and fantastic affair. I will get to see relatives from far and wide and will feel all kinds of joy and mush. Good stuff. The catch is that they live oversees, as does much of my extended family.
Round trip airfare during peak travel season and some (very limited) spending money is going to run me just short of $2,000. Even though that's a pretty hefty price tag, I would like to go very much. I haven't been back for about five years and the timing feels right. This is one of those quality of life things that we earn money for.
What's a girl to do?
- I have made a commitment to max out my retirement accounts and to retire my consumer debt this year. Those funds are not to be compromised.
- I will pay for this trip in cash and not credit. (Fortunately I am not in the habit of turning to credit without great deliberation so this won't be a big temptation.)
- I must have the cash available before the trip- about July 2008
- I believe in the importance of an emergency fund so I will not drain that account (but using a small portion of it is ok with me).
Possible Sources of Money
- I wrote about sources of found money recently and discovered that I could easily accumulate about $1,000 this year from random other sources. I think I can reasonably expect to have about $400 of that by July.
- If things go as scheduled, I might get that economic stimulus package tax rebate by then as well. Funny, I hadn't expected to spend it on consuming "stuff" but I guess airfare falls in that category. A $600 rebate brings my total up to $1000.
- I could put $500 from my emergency fund towards this bringing the total up to $1500.
- There is some built-in wiggle room in my budget. I can make a commitment to save an extra $20 each month towards this trip for the next 5 months (=$100) which would bring me up to $1600 by July.
Something's Gotta Give
I am not going to compromise on my savings goals, my debt reduction goals... or my travel desires. According to the numbers above, this isn't going to work. Something's gotta give!
The savings, the debt, or the travel? Oh wait, I forgot to put one more thing into that equation. The Universe. The Universe gives.
Will the Universe give here? Can't say for sure. However, if past experience counts for anything, I know that when I am doggedly (and happily) determined to do or have something, I pretty much always get it.
So, for now at least, the last $400 I need in order to reach the $2000 amount needed to fund my trip, will go under the category of "Generosity of the Universe".
But what happens if the Universe doesn't deliver? Then I won't go.
But the Universe always gives. As long as I know how to joyfully receive it!
I will keep you posted on how this all works out.