Sunday, June 25, 2006

Pinching Pennies: Spain on a Budget

Several folks have hinted around or been outright nosy enough to ask how I can afford to go to Spain, when I have no job as of June 30th. As Ricky Ricardo would say, "Let me 'splain, Lucy." At first, I was simply going to splurge and dip into my savings. Then the practical side of me kicked in and said maybe I don't want to do that. Who knows when I'll decide to get a new job, so I just might need to be able to pay my bills.

Here's how I'm going to Spain without dipping into my reserves. Finding creative ways to make money is key, as is looking at how you think about money and cutting corners. Any money saved, is counted as money in your pocket. The easiest way is to cut current expenses. Eating out is one of my favorite things to do, so I'm cooking more. When going to make a purchase, I think in terms of what that may get me in Spain. As a result, that $2.50 gelato becomes a bus/train ride between some Spanish cities. I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing as I'm traveling. When I run out of money, I'm coming home!

Plane ticket - Cost me $239. Cheapest price found online: $2045. My dear friend, Greg, works for an airline and he was friend enough to give up one of his precious passes. Thank GOD for friends. Thanks, Greggy!

Room & board - According to Rick Steve's guidebook, a good economical trip can run you $80/day. According to Let's Go's guidebook, $35/day will do ya. Ya know I'm a whiz at being frugal, so I plan to do it for $25/day.

Earning spending money - I was browsing around eBay one day and realized that people sell all kinds of things on there...and people buy it! SO, I decided to do the same. The first 4 items were sold on eBay. See the explanation for the rest of the items.
  • Textbook #1: $60

  • Textbook #2: $38

  • Digital camera: $186 - Replaced my digicam a while ago, so I sold the used one.

  • Purseholder: $7

  • Rick Steve's Guidebook: $22- Returned new copy & checked it out at the library.

  • Phone earpiece: $10- Got returns lying around the house? Now's the time! This is transportation to Ã�vila, Segovia, AND Cercedilla.

  • Backpack: $200 - I also count money I didn't have to spend. A low-end travel backpack costs about this much. My price? $0! My dear friend, Corey, is lending me the backpack he used on a recent visit to Spain. Thanks, Corey!

  • Travel containers: $4 - I was recycling some water bottles and I thought, "Hmmm, these look like those travel bottles at the store. Update: Okay, I didn't have to go there. I purchased a travel kit that'll hang from the towel rack and it came with travel bottles/soap dish/ toothbruth holder. $9.00 @ Ross!
  • Textbook #3: $18
  • Textbook #4: $27
  • Textbook #5: $14
  • Textbook #6: $50
  • Paperback novel: $7
  • Another paperback: $13

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Blogger Reporter_Brooks said...

I'm not exactly sure who you are, but thank you for posting something on my blog. I really enjoyed your insight about the black woman. They aren't the easiest people to understand.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am so proud and amazed by your sense of adventure, and free spirit. Enjoy Spain and if you can, backpack all up and down Europe while you're there. Make it worth you're while as we only live once.

Black Gypsy

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Bai said...

Wow, you're good! You are now officially the Queen of penny pinching!

12:42 PM  
OpenID Aritul said...

This post was mega helpful. On a side note, I had no idea you could get plane tickets to Spain that cheap without actually being in Europe.

7:00 PM  
Blogger The Black Planeteer said...

In my post, it is noted that I received a pass from a friend. :o)

1:29 PM  

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