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A new computer and -- London and Paris?

September 15th, 2010 at 10:41 am

Today is payday. On an ordinary payday, I would take whatever is left in checking and transfer it to savings. Today, however, I am not doing that. My Discover bill is unusually large, due to all the pre-wedding expenses, so instead, my goal is to pay all my bills this month without raiding my savings account.

Next month will be much the same, because I just bought a computer. I had to admit my laptop was dying, and I decided to replace it before I lost all my data, like last time. I bought an HP Pavilion online. It was $631 after a $100 instant rebate. Also, I bought it through the MyPoints link, so I ought to get a lot of points soon to turn into gift cards.

So I am really trying not to spend on anything not necessary. That concept was challenged this morning when I looked in the freezer and saw that there were no Lean Cuisines left. I had to quickly pack a sandwich. Tonight I will take stock of the food in my pantry. I'm going to pull a Mike Royko. He was a Chicago columnist who once wrote an article about how he used up ALL the food he had before he went to the grocery store. Not for financial reasons, but because he was batching it, and didn't want to shop. So he had some unusual meals, like popcorn and pickles. Okay, I won't be that bad, but I will try to use things up before I buy.

Two temptations are drifting in my vision -- one, my BFF invited me to come visit her this weekend (about a three-hour drive) and two, the alumni office is offering a tour this March -- 3 days in London, 3 days in Paris. I've never been to Europe, and that is exactly what I would like to do if I ever go. Well, I will pass up the visit to my girlfriend this month -- but should I pass on the trip? I can't afford it, in light of having to save for a place to live after I retire -- but can I afford never to take my dream trip? That's what I have to decide. I will go to the organizational meeting just to find out what the cost will be. That might put on head on straight.

8 Responses to “A new computer and -- London and Paris?”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    At least see what the cost is. Sounds like it might be the most affordable opportunity you'll ever have for your dream trip, so in that regard it's saving you money in the long run (compared with taking your own, more expensive European trip a few years down the line).

    Dreams are important, and you're not one who indulges every impulse, so take this one seriously. Smile

  2. My English Castle Says:

    It depends on how much it is. I usually find those package deals are overpriced, because you're taken care of all the time. London is super-easy for smart tourists and Paris isn't bad either.
    Let us know how much they want and we'll plan a cheaper one for you!

  3. Analise Says:

    Take the dream trip... life is too short to miss out on these special opportunities. You can make up the cost with your careful budgeting and frugal practices.

  4. baselle Says:

    I was in college in Chicago - I remember the Mike Royko article. A lot of college meals were inspired by that. Smile
    I'm debating about my own alumni trip. Another question you might ask is whether that opportunity happens yearly or not.

    Paris was amazing - two weeks there and nowhere else didn't even scratch the surface. Three days would be a blur. I'm excited for you, and I know you'll get a chance - now or later.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    My first impression was also if a group tour type thing would really be the cheapest. My experience is NO! I would take the opportunity to see what other tours are available versus how you could fare on your own buying airfare/hotels.

    Though 3 days would be a blur, I think it would be worth it. Doing a lot of cities in little time also gives you the feeling where you would want to go back and delve into more. I did a tour of Spain, Italy, and France. I would have guessed Italy would be #1, but fell in love with Spain and France instead.

    I didn't get to see Paris, and would love to go to London sometime!

  6. My English Castle Says:

    As some of you know, London is my thing. DH lived in London when I met him, and I spent five years there, which taught me a lot about London on the Cheap. If you need a recommendation or some advice, holler and I'd be happy to help.

  7. CB in the City Says:

    Well, I have to admit that part of the appeal of this trip is that I wouldn't have to plan. I've never been overseas; the whole idea of planning it is quite intimidating to me. But I'll keep an open mind. The first meeting is on September 29; I'll see what they have to say.

  8. scottish girl Says:

    You should go! I've been to Paris with DH and we loved it, we would go back again. Haven't been to London though.

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