Sunday, September 9, 2012

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

My daughter has a birthday next month, so I've been tossing a few ideas around in my head on how to celebrate with her. For a variety of reasons, one of her favorite things to do is to spend the night in a hotel.  

One of the reasons she likes to do that is because they offer Free Unlimited Internet, which is something we don't have at home. Because we live in a rural area, we do not have an ISP that offers unlimited internet, so we only have one choice and that is using a data package from Verizon. We pay $80 per month for 10 gigabytes of data, and have to be very careful to not go over the 10 gigabytes or it is another $10 for every 1 extra gigabyte. As a result, we do not go on websites that offer any streaming videos, or You Tube or Pinterest as pictures will use a lot of gigabytes too. So, when we go to a hotel and have free, unlimited Internet then that is a real treat. It is one of my daughter's favorite things to do because she loves to watch You Tube videos and download current TV shows like Glee from I-tunes. 

Another reason she likes to stay in a hotel is Restaurants that Deliver.  Again, because we live in a rural area, we do not have any restaurants that deliver to our door, so when we are somewhere that offers this service, we consider it a real luxury. She also likes hotels that offer a Free Complimentary Breakfast simply because she likes having so many choices available to her. She also enjoys the Cable TV, which is available at hotels. And finally, she likes to be able to swim in the hotel Swimming Pool.  

From the time that my daughter entered Kindergarten the school system here has had a Fall Break and it has always fallen on her birthday, and this year is no exception. How neat is it to get three days off from school for your birthday? Think I could convince her that is her birthday present this hear? LOL, I didn't think so either. :)  

Having said all of that, this year I've decided that I am going to let her spend the night at a hotel for her birthday. As with other things in our lives, I am going to do this on a budget. So we are going to be Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

How am I going to approach this on a limited budget? Well, I've been doing some research on local hotels online and have found that with a coupon, I can book one night for around $46 plus tax. And, Pizza Hut has a special right now where they will deliver a pizza with any toppings for only $10 (plus $2.50 delivery charge, tax and gratuity, so slightly less than $20). Breakfast the following morning will be free. So for around $75 we can spend the night in a hotel and enjoy swimming, free Internet, movies, and pizza. Now that sounds like a lot of fun to me because I like all of those things too, and I know this is something that she will love to do for her birthday. 

So, how do I budget in the fun stuff? I've checked my calendar twice now and figured out that I have four paychecks between now and her birthday. My plan is to skim off $20.00 from each check (which should be easily done now that I am back to work) and save them towards her birthday celebration. We did not take a vacation this past summer, which is unusual for us as we normally go to Illinois every summer. So, I think this will make a nice treat for both of us. A mini vacation for her birthday is also a mini vacation for me.

We will both have a great time and I can relax knowing that I planned ahead and saved up for this celebration and didn't put it on a credit card to have to worry about paying later.

How do you Budget in the Fun Stuff in your life?

© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2012.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”


  1. Hi Belinda,
    that sounds like such a fun thing to do for her birthday! My husband and kids get so thrilled when we stay in a hotel, because of the free breakfast (in their minds, unlimited junky stuff with no whole wheat flour), the swimming in a heated pool, and the cable TV (we have an antenna and get just a handful of channels). Can you find out if you can use their facilities before official check-in time? Go swimming and sit around the pool earlier in the day, then get into your room when it's available?

    Hope you have a lot of fun!

    1. Oh that is such a great idea, Lili! I am definitely going to see if we can do that. Thank you. :) My daughter thinks just like yours do about the breakfasts! lol

  2. I think $75 for a grand birthday celebration is a steal Belinda! I hope you both enjoy it :) We (and by we, I generally mean I LOL) stash back a little cash from each check towards vacations. All found money goes in that stash the random check I got the other day for being part of a class action suit that I didn't even know about. I also budget myself for 2 paychecks a month. A few months a year end up with 3 paychecks so those get stashed too. Sometimes life throws a wrench in those plans though, like this year the car ate our vacation. But having the stash allowed us to not live on ramen to deal with the car.

    1. Very good planning on your part, Gena! Great to have on hand when you needed it for the car repairs. Not having something to fall back on is how people can easily get into trouble financially. BTDT myself especially when I was younger.

      Thank you for your sweet comments, we are both looking forward to it. :)

  3. Hi. I'm a new follower.
    I start saving for Christmas from January, for my daughter's birtday, which is in October, from around June and for next years holidays usually from the when we get back off this years holiday.
    I like your idea for your daughters birthday. My daughter is 12 and I'm not sure she would appriciate it yet but worth keeping in mind for when she is older.


    1. Hi Carolx, Thank you for visiting my blog and becoming a follower. I'm glad you're here. It's a great idea to save ahead for things like Birthdays and Christmas. I've been working on Swagbucks to save for Christmas. I currently have $105 dollars in Amazon gift certificates just from working that program. I'm saving them up for my daughter's Christmas present. If you want to know about it, just let me know. Thank you again for visiting. :)


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