Today is my last day of work before I start my holiday vacation and I am incredibly excited to have some time off (would-be burglars take note – I have someone staying in my apartment with my cats and she knows kung fu). As much as I love vacations where I get to travel somewhere fun, I’m very excited about this vacation, where I get to go to my parents’ house and be lazy. Well, sort of lazy. There’s lots of visiting to be done, of course, and I will be helping with Christmas preparations, but it will be nice to have a trip free of responsibility for a while.
2009 became the year of the Staycation, and the more stressed I get at work, the more the idea of a Staycation appeals to me. Just a week to hang out at home, plow through my household project list, sleep in, watch movies, and just do whatever I want. Unfortunately, that’s not really an option. I don’t quite have enough annual leave stored up for that.
Sometimes, I forget that a vacation doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. For this trip, I bought my plane tickets and will probably try to pay for dinner if we eat out. And it will be an enjoyable trip. I think in 2010, I’m going to try to take a long weekend to myself, where I just use the days off to relax and do things that I want to do. Even if I spent the whole time on household projects, getting those off my task list and off my mind will reduce my stress level and that’s exactly what a vacation should do.
What are your plans for the holidays? Are you already mentally planning vacations for next year?
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.