My fiancée and I think big when it comes to travel. In fact, we met one another in Japan while I was traveling abroad as a student to study for a semester, and he was stationed in Yokosuka as a cryptologist in the Navy. This was after I had finished a tour in London, and before he was shipped to Bahrain for two years. Traveling is in our blood.

What is not in our blood is the amount of money the type of travelling that we wish to do for the next 50+ years is going to entail. It should come as no surprise that traveling can be an expensive hobby. But at heart we are traveling companions, and both yearn to see new places, eat new foods, meet new people, and enjoy one another’s company against a backdrop of the world.

Our next big traveling adventure is going to be our honeymoon, and we have decided to take a trip to Austria! Neither of us has ever been there, and we like the idea of being surrounded by mountains cascading down from the clouds, intricately-detailed European architecture, cozy cafes, and the tantalizing sounds of a foreign language.  Sounds like a dream.

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We are hoping for a two week trip (we will have to see if work allows for this), and have decided to set a savings goal of $2500. Granted, we realize the price of this trip will be higher than this, but this is a good chunk of money to help us get there. The wedding is tentatively planned for April of next year, so that gives us approximately eight months to reach this goal. If you pass your mouse over the Honeymoon Savings Chart on the right of this page, you will see that so far we have accumulated $779.79. Here is how that breaks down:

$150.00 Chase Account Opening Bonus (Amanda)
$100.00 From Checking to Open Account
$150.00 Chase Account Opening Bonus (Paul)
$100.00 From Checking to Open Account
$25.00 Cash from Credit Card Rewards
$8.29 Sold books at Half Priced Books
$30.00 Gas Rebate from Online Offer
$83.00 Sold Stuff on Craigslist/Pawned Jewelry
$50.00 Verizon Phone Rebate
$50.00 Sold Guitar Hero on Craigslist
$33.50 Rebate at Office Depot
$779.79 Total


As you can see, only $200 of this money has come out of our checking account and out of our own pockets. True, for rebates, we are initially paying for the item. But I budget this into the amount of money I can spend each month and do not go over this budgeted amount, so when I get the rebate, it feels like found money for us!

Earning interest also adds to a savings goal. Our savings account is with ING DIRECT, and I have had this account since 2005. This is where we have saved for our house down payment, and it has accumulated $1,157.49 for us in interest over the past 3.5 years!

Our honeymoon money is not in a savings account; instead we have put it in a checking account because of the bonuses we received to open it ($150 per account, and Paul and I opened up two separate accounts. In particular, Chase bank has a $100 offer right now for opening up a new account that can be found in the Sunday papers or the Wednesday Redplum circulars that come out.). That yielded us a 38.5% return on our money, and we only need to keep the money in this checking account for six months before we can put it into our ING Savings account and earn even more money on it!

Open up your own savings account by clicking on the ING Direct Icon on the sidebar to your right. You can then designate this account for your own savings goal, such as a car, home down payment, first and last month’s rent plus deposit, a trip, paying down a credit card, etc. (Just to let you all know, I do make money if you open a savings or checking account on ING DIRECT through my website; however, I also use this service and love it, and that is why I am promoting it!) Leave me a comment to tell me about the savings goal that you have—I would love to hear about it. Are you going to automatically deposit money into your savings account? Or put in extra money as you get it? When do you expect to reach your savings goal?

Follow me as I post once a month between now and our honeymoon to show you how we achieve our goal. You may get your own ideas for things that you can do to reach a particular goal you have. If anything, you can see that it is possible to set a savings goal, work at it, and at the end, reap the rewards from your hard work and ingenuity.

Happy Savings!

7 replies
  1. BluSky
    BluSky says:

    B of A has a useful plan for saving. It’s called Keep the Change. The way it works is everytime you make a purchase with your debit card, they round up the debit to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into your savings account. The cool part is they match the first $250.

  2. Crystal
    Crystal says:

    ING Direct is awesome…I’m glad you promote it! We have most of our accounts with them since you even make a little interest in their checking account 🙂

    Our fun money account is our ING Vacation Account. It receives $250 a month plus 1/2 of any extra money at the end of the month after we pay everything else (bills and all our different savings goals).

    We use the account for the major vacation we take every year, a few mini-vacations on weekends, and any large just-because-we-want-it purchases. It allows us to have fun with some of our money without feeling the pinch of all our long-term savings goals 🙂

    I would love to give you some great suggestions on easy ways to save more, but you are already quite a bit more frugal than we are, so I’ll just wish you great luck!

    For anybody who may not already take advantage of great deals, I seem to find the absolute best prices for expensive items online. My current addiction is Crocs… is having a great Buy One Get One Free sale on certain styles. We ended up getting 4 great pairs for $60 instead of paying the mall price of $30-50 for each pair 🙂 I’m also a big fan of Craigslist, Ebay, and their subsidiary for books 🙂 They usually are recipients of my monthly budget of fun money…

  3. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    BluSky: Sounds like a great program…and an eventual free $250!! Can’t beat that. The only problem with me is that I keep track of the change portion of my budget as well, so it might crimp my style if that gets automatically withdrawn into a savings account. But I still think it’s a great program:).

    Crystal: I would still LOVE to hear your frugal ideas! I hope that all of us share our own experiences in the comments (and on Frugal Confessions Fridays ofcourse:)). That sounds like a great idea to have a vacation account–for us frugal people, an account with spillover money or designated money means that we can spend something without guilt. Enjoy those vacations this year!

  4. Rosa
    Rosa says:

    Have you thought about housesitting abroad as part of your vaca? you save on hotels and has so much more privacy. there are agencies that set this up for you that pre-screen, verify, etc.

  5. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Hi Rosa!

    I have not thought about that, though I remember reading an article about it vaguely a year or so ago. I will definitely check it out and see if it’s something we want to do. Thanks for the info. and the comment! Keep Reading!

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