5 Things I Gave up to Afford a Mexican Vacation

5 Things I Gave up to Afford a Mexican Vacation

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated November 15, 2017

I haven’t taken a real vacation in years and I also haven’t even had that much time off in the last two years to relax and recharge. So my boyfriend and I decided that this year we were going to make time for a vacation.

We decided that we finally wanted to try out an all inclusive. Just about everyone we know has been on one in the last few years and we were starting to get jealous. We choose Mexico based on a few recommendations and couldn’t be more excited (psst we’re there now as you read this!).

Now let’s talk money. Even if you find a great deal, dropping upwards of a $1000 (or even more) in one fell swoop is a pretty big financial commitment. I’m all about budgeting and being as responsible as I can when it comes to my money. So naturally, I decided to give up or cut back on a few unnecessary expenses just so that I would feel better about the cost of my vacation.

Learn how to afford the Caribbean vacation of your dreams here.

Here’s What I Gave up to go to Mexico

Post bad day pit stops on my way home.

I may be pretty responsible when it comes to my money, but if there’s one thing I need to work on more, it’s random shopping. I don’t mean purposeful shopping for work clothing or new winter boots, I mean random stops on my way home after a particularly long day or week. Magazines, chocolate, new makeup, you name it. Stopping for a quick retail therapy session on my way home is something I really love to do, but it’s completely unnecessary in the truest sense of the word. Therefore I have given it up for past few months and I’m going to continue to exercise my will power as much as possible for the foreseeable future.

Online shopping

See, I told you shopping is the one thing I definitely need to give up. Here’s the thing, I’m tall and can wear just about any size depending on what the item is. This is great but it’s also bad because I’m definitely one of those people who should always try clothing or shoes on before I purchase them. This is the problem with online shopping, stuff rarely fits me the way I thought it would. Sometimes it’s easy and free to return items you purchase online and sometimes it’s not. When it’s not, it usually means I’ve wasted my money. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, I’m trying to give up online shopping. I’ve partially started but this, but it’s definitely going to be the main cost-cutting goal of mine this summer.

Looking to laying some serious cash? This article is for you.

Extra grocery shopping

I’ve got the whole “cut back on eating out” thing completely under control. But I’ve cleverly replaced it with stopping at the grocery store for “easy” food on my way home from work (I seriously need to just get in my car and drive home, do not stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200). I already meal plan and do one big grocery shop once a week so technically I always have a meal to cook. It’s just sometimes I don’t want to spend any time in the kitchen after work, but the problem is it can easily add another $50 or more to my grocery budget for the week and that’s a pretty big expense.

Look, in my opinion, life is too short to stress yourself out over cooking dinner, but I also know that spending an extra couple hundreds of dollars on food I don’t need every couple of months does not fit in with my other financial goals so I’ve given it up. For sake of transparency, it hasn’t been easy. On several occasions, I’ve wanted to pick up something easier to prepare for dinner, but I haven’t.

Check out our essential guide to saving, click here.

Pre-made salads

Do you know what the best kind of salad is? The kind you don’t have to make yourself. Preparing food for lunches and cooking dinner aren’t my favourite free time activities but I do them, most days without complaining because I think they’re important. But the one thing that I can’t get over is washing lettuce and making a salad. It’s probably because I see eating salad several times a day as it’s own type of chore. I like salad and I eat it because it’s good for me, but it’s not pizza and therefore I have a problem with it.

Enter the pre-made salad. The prepared food industry’s greatest gift, but there’s one serious issue. Why is it that premade salad is so expensive? Especially when purchasing all the ingredients and making your own salad is pretty inexpensive. This is one of life’s greatest mysteries and annoyances. Anyway who knew I could talk about salad for so long? I’m giving up those amazing pre-made salads and forcing myself to make them, for a fraction of the price, instead. Although I will say this, if for some reason I find myself having to make the decision between buying a pre-made salad and a possible mental breakdown because I don’t want to make my lunch. You better believe I’m buying that salad without a second thought.

Want to learn how to budget? Read this.

Are anyone of you planning a getaway this spring or summer? Did you put yourself on a stricter budget or give up something specific to ease any money guilt you might have? Let me know if you did, I love hearing about how our readers are taking control of their finances.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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