Vacation was absolutely amazing. While I was there, I realized that some time off was exactly what I needed. I can’t tell you the last time I went on vacation where I didn’t have a set plan of things I wanted to do or a schedule I needed to keep. A lot of times, my vacations are go go go. This trip was to visit a friend, and while there were things planned, every day wasn’t completely planned. He unexpectedly had to work more days than he thought he would have to, so that meant I had quite a bit of time to myself. I spent time laying out in the sun (but not too much time, and covered in SPF 50 – those of you who have met me will understand). I slept in and watched the news in the morning, but ignored the internet and my responsibilities. I didn’t bring my Blackberry, and left strict instructions at my office to not call me unless it was a complete emergency (or if something ridiculous happened, like someone quitting or getting fired). I didn’t worry about my PF blog (I love it, but it’s a bit like a job). I read books and we went to the movies and went out to dinner and just had a really relaxing time. It was perfect.
I’ve tried to have the same theory when it comes to long weekends, but my relaxation always falls to the wayside in favor of the numerous tasks on my to-do list. There’s always something to do around the house, in terms of cleaning or organizing or any number of projects. Obviously, that wasn’t an option here, and I did my best to keep all thoughts of all of those things out of my mind (and hoped that my roommate would do her best to keep things clean in the apartment – though seeing as though she’s getting close to grad school finals, I was not hopeful).
This vacation was incredibly refreshing, and I think I need to make it a yearly thing – even if I don’t go anywhere quite as beautiful, I think I need to find the time to get away from everything and just relax. I think it’s necessary for my sanity.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.