Thinking about money

I haven’t had to think about money for the last few years. The fact of it is, I earned more than I needed, and I’m not an insane spender to begin with. But after a few years of being able to afford pretty much anything I wanted (except for that 160 acre plot of land), I started thinking that my relationship to money had gone out of whack (I mean, who’s hasn’t?). Part of the reason I decided to be unemployed for a while was to re-examine my relationship with money, and scarcity is a good opportunity for such re-examination.

The first step in this experiment is to gather data, and simply pay attention to my spending (something I haven’t had to do in a while). To establish a baseline, I spent money like I have been for our inaugural trip to Seattle and Portland. Our expenditures were as follows:

Food            397.95
Lodging         524.24
Parking         100.75
Gas              98.99
Entertainment    56.85
Total          1298.78

This was for 2 people on a 7 day/6 night trip, and what stands out is our rather ridiculously high food and lodging costs. Including parking fees (common in cities), our lodging cost over $100 a night, and we spent close to $60 a day on food (this included a couple of $60+ meals, and one $100+ meal). This wasn’t unreasonable when I was working, and we’d travel on vacations. But now that traveling is what we’ll be doing most of the time, we’ll have to be a little thriftier. I’ll try to post similar tallies of future trips, but this’ll be our baseline.

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