That's where my money goes

White Sands New Mexico
Originally uploaded by radzfoto.

I'm considering taking a trip during Spring Break. The biggest thing standing in my way is money. My assistant and I talk about this sometimes. Where does our money go? While we are teachers and not exactly rolling in money, we aren't exactly poor either. When this topic comes up and she laments not having money to do things she wants to do I remind her where her money goes. She is a major foodie. Each of us have things that we are willing to spend money on. For her it is food. For me, well, I think it is the details of life.

I don't buy anything big or expensive (unless I'm forced to), but I spend my money on lots of little things in between. Movies, eating out, festivals, books, perfume, etc. If I want to do something I generally go and do it, not worrying about the money. A lot of these things range between $5-$20 so I don't feel like I'm spending that much at any one time, but it all adds up. I have to remind myself of these spending habits when I see people who go on trips regularly or buy new camera equipment on a regular basis. These are two things I would really love to do, but just don't feel like I have the money. My first reaction is to assume that they make more money than I do, but that may not be it.

I might have the money to do these things, but it would be a big change for me. I wasn't disciplined enough to save for camera equipment or to pay off my credit card (something that I really want to do) before now. Do I suddenly have the strength to do it now? I really don't think I could give up going to musicals or buying books. Those are two things I can't live without. But can I give up all the other stuff? For example, I would like to get a new DVD player to take advantage of my new HDTV. I could easily afford one right now, but now I'm thinking I should wait. That would be a portion of an airline ticket right there. Or I always go to Goode Co. Seafood at least once during a vacation break. I was going to go tomorrow, but that could be the equivalent of a meal on vacation.

What I like right now is that I'm not restricted in what I do. If I want to buy a book I do. If I want to go to eat out, I do. I'm wondering if I will really discipline myself enough to save money for a trip, especially one right around the corner. And I'm talking about small trip to New Mexico for just a few days. Nothing extravagant. I definitely know my financial limitations.

I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do yet. I just know that when the wanderlust thread went up at Assignment: Houston, it was painfully obvious to me looking through my photo archives that I haven't been anywhere in a very long time and I want things to be different.


Happy Thanksgiving