save for honeymoon

Wondering how do people afford a honeymoon at all? How we set and met our honeymoon savings goal of $2,500 with money OUTSIDE of our paychecks.

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.

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.

So far, we've accumulated $779.79.

Here is how that breaks down:

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


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 (no longer around — they're now Capital One 360), 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!

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!

UPDATE: Below are the final tallies for each category

Well, we went on our honeymoon!! It was AH-MAZING.

I wanted to come back and update you guys with where we sourced the money from, with the final tallies from our saving for honeymoon goal.

We came in at $2,334.78!

Here's the breakdown of how I did it: 

  • Freelance Writing Income: $760
  • Bank Account Opening Bonuses: $421
  • Wedding Shower Cash Gifts: $325
  • Rebates: $222.49
  • Our Paycheck Money: $200
  • Sold Stuff Craigslist: $141.29
  • Carpooling: $104
  • Research Study: $75
  • eHow Income: $54
  • SendEarnings Surveys: $27
  • Miscellaneous: $5

I hope this serves as an example that while it may seem that putting small denominations of money into savings here or there, and getting a few rebates does not add up, if you give all of your miscellaneous money a purpose, then you can save up for something large, and very tangible in your life.

Saving for honeymoon (and need to choose an affordable honeymoon)? We decided on Austria, but since we paid for the majority of our wedding, we needed to get really creative in our honeymoon planning and honeymoon goals. We set a goal to source $2,500 towards the trip from OUTSIDE of our paychecks. Let me show you how that turned out. Cheap honeymoon ideas | honeymoon tips | our honeymoon #honeymoon #marriage #engaged

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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