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Emily’s list: Debt-free honeymoon edition

Emily Crone

If you’re reading this shortly after its Friday morning publication, I’m probably on a plane from Austin to Seattle for my delayed honeymoon. We will also go to Vancouver for three nights and Whistler for one night. The wedding was in March, but we’re just now getting the chance to get away.

I’ve heard and read horror stories of couples who go into major debt for their honeymoon and later regret it. That’s no way to start off a marriage! While I will be using a credit card for most purchases, we’re determined to go in and out of the honeymoon without debt, so I will be paying off the balance immediately after returning. We received some, but not a lot, of money as wedding gifts. That is helping with a big chunk of it. But here are some of the many other ways we plan to save:

  • We’re forgoing a hotel in Seattle. A friend who just moved back to Texas still has a furnished apartment there for a few more weeks. Sure, it would be grand to stay at a swanky hotel, but this is free, and the kitchen will allow us to cook and save money on meals.
  • We’re carrying on our luggage. There’s no point in paying for a checked bag if we can cram everything in a carry-on! We might have to wash some clothes in the bathtub, but it’s worth the savings.
  • We’re going to do a lot of walking. I’m happy to have learned that both downtown Seattle and downtown Vancouver are very walkable, so we plan to be on our feet as much as possible. When we need to take public transportation, we will — and we will certainly do that when needed rather than take a cab.
  • I’m keeping a spreadsheet of our spending. I have already started a worksheet of the expenses we’ve incurred so far, and I will continue to add to it. That allows me to see how much we have left in our budget and keep sight of how much we can spend per day.
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge in VancouverWe are doing plenty of research in advance. There are a few attractions I heard about and was interested in. But I looked up the pricing for each one, and some are far more expensive than I thought. For example, admittance to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver (shown at right) is $32.95 per adult! No thank you. I’m glad I’m researching and learning these things before we go so I don’t waste our time or overspend once we’re over there.
  • We’re going to eat wisely. I have been given many recommendations for fabulous restaurants in both Seattle and Vancouver, but I have been warned that eating out isn’t cheap in either city. We’re going to make sure to indulge here and there — after all, it is our honeymoon — but we’re going to balance it out with budget meals. For example, we will have a cheap sandwich for lunch if we want to have a nice meal that night.
  • We got the advice of locals. I interacted with several past and current Seattle residents, both online and in person, to get recommendations about where to go and what to do. I was given advice about expensive tourist traps to avoid.

Do you have any other good suggestions for saving on a honeymoon? Here are 10 of my favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week, many of which have great advice about saving money and preventing debt.

1. Cash Money Life offers six great tips for getting out of credit card debt.

2. Whether you’re focused on your spending or your diet, Almost Frugal reminds readers how important it is to focus on what you want the most in the long run — not what you want right now.

3. Fiscal Fizzle lists nine tips you can use if you are a spender and marry a saver (or the other way around).

4. Bargaineering explains how you can get a good start on organizing your finances in just 55 seconds.

5. Debt Free Adventures discusses six ways you can save money and avoid going into debt.

6. Money Health Central presents a list of four financial myths that may be keeping you from crawling out of debt.

7. Couple Money reveals several different ways you can improve your credit score, many of which are very easy to do.

8. No Debt Plan weighs whether it’s better to pay down low-balance or high-interest credit card debt first.

9. Installing solar panels could cost you several paychecks. Dinks Finance lists several smaller and more affordable ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at your home.

10. If you’re trying to cut costs, you may be reluctant to cancel the gym membership. Frugal Dad tells readers about 10 ways you can make a home gym and save tons of money over time.

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  • Secured Credit Card

    Amazing post! I have always thought that most people are big time spenders and whenever there is a special event they set forth the philosophy of deserving a getaway time and totally forget to limit and control their spending.
    Excellent that you were able to have a great time while at the same time sticking to your spending habits and being smart about your spending.
    Thanks again for the tips and hope it surely was an excellent honeymoon! =-D