Truthfully, I don’t think I will ever forget the recent Florida experiences I just shared with two of my best friends (sister and friend of fifty years!) We did everything we wanted to. We went out to wherever we wanted to. And we really didn’t give much credence to how much money we were spending. That last item turned out to make my recent vacation one for me to remember for the ages. When you’re not bogged down with daily financial obligations, life can truly be enjoyable. In my mind, I’m a stoic frugalista, so I don’t have to constantly keep my mind on the financial ball. I know what I’m doing. And best of all, I know what I’m spending.
I was fortunate enough to spend my 23 vacation days at my sisters gorgeous, luscious Florida home (complete with outdoor heated pool, hot tub and spa!) Living in Florida is not the easy ride many think it is. My sister paid $425K for her home 4 years ago. It’s worth somewhere between the $600K to $700K range today. I’ve seen her $700 annual property tax increase to its current $10K a year (yup! you read that right). Twice my sister has gone broke since she moved there and twice she had to sell two valuable assets in order to remain in her expensive Florida home. Granted you don’t have to live high on the hog as my sis does ($100K a year and lives in no less than 3000 sq feet). She lived a very tough life and she is at a point now where she wants to enjoy her remaining third act.
We spent a lot of time at either the community pool, community gym, involved in the community activities (such as a weekly Farmer’s Market) and lounged at several local beaches. We walked everywhere! All of these activities were free. Nonetheless, here’s the breakdown of what I spent on my fab vacay:
|RT airline ticket||$184.00|
|Use Coverage||$100.00||To cover utilities|
|David Foster Concert||$62.00|
|Black Theater Tix||$0.00||Gift from neighbor|
|Gospel Brunch||$0.00||Gift from sister|
|Aldi Food||$106.57||Breakfast & lunch|
|Movies, Happy Hours, Italian Festival||$61.00|
|TOTAL (23 days)||$751.38|
|Cost per day||$32.67|
Even with all the freebies (I attended a free cocktail party) and stayed at my sisters home, I spent a fair amount of money. Throw in those two pairs of eyeglasses ($95) some clothing items ($70) and I gave away my husband’s David Foster ticket to another good friend at no charge ($62) and the grand total nears the $1000 mark! Not cheap, for sure.
It is what it is. I did what I did. And I enjoyed every single micro second of the whole, entire adventure. I hope to God, one day, I can do it all over again!