Money Diary: A Quick Getaway

Occupation: Copywriter

Industry: Digital Marketing

Age: 29

Location: Indianapolis, IN

Paycheck (BiWeekly): $ 2,100/mo after HSA and 401(k) removed

Monthly Expenses:

  • Rent: $ 462.50
  • Car lease: $ 300
  • Insurances: $ 85
  • All other expenses
  • Utilities: $ 200/mo
  • Pet supplies: $ 30/mo
  • Phone: $ 50/mo
  • Streaming services: $ 15/mo
  • Vinyl or video games: $ 60/mo

A 3-Day Vacation

Every year I take a trip up to Saugatuck, Michigan, to get away for a weekend. It’s only about a 3.5 hour drive, but getting away from a landlocked state to see the lake is always good for my mental wellbeing. Here are some of my expenses from the trip:

Kennel: This could have been a big drop in the bucket, but my mom volunteered to watch my dog. I saved a TON here. $ 0

Gas: My car is decently fuel-efficient, so I only had to fill up a couple times for the 210-mile drive. $ 50

Hotel: I intended to take a trip earlier in autumn, but got two nights in November cost the same as one in mid-October. My girlfriend and I decided to wait until November and split the cost. $ 89

Coffee: There’s a little coffee shop in town that makes some awesome cold brew, so we spent quite a while working there. $ 11

Beer: I work at a local brewery, so I make it a point to swap beer when I go on vacation. I came home with 28 bottles that will take me quite a while to go through. $ 56

Dining: We got free breakfast at the hotel and packed our own snacks for lunch, so dinner was the only expense here. $ 84

Clothing: I’ve been looking for a lightweight blue hoodie for a long time, and happened to find one that fit the bill at a local shop. Even though it wasn’t in my budget for the trip, I decided to bite the bullet. $ 32

Early Christmas shopping: Saugatuck is full of little boutiques, so I took some time to get a bit of Christmas shopping done early. $ 24


At just over $ 115 per day, the trip definitely took a toll on my budget. It’s been about a year since I spent some time on vacation, so I’m willing to live frugally for a while to make up for the cost.

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