Sunday, May 25, 2008

Staying In a 7 Bedroom Beach House is in Your Budget

Each year my husband's sisters (3) and their families and our family rent a beach house in the Outer Banks for our annual week long beach trip. Now some of you might be thinking that might be expensive. It is if you go in the middle of the summer during their peak season. If you schedule your trip right outside those peak times you can save quite a bit of money. So we have 8 adults and 9 kids staying in a 7 bedroom beach house (grandparents sometimes come and go) with a private heated pool and hot tub on the ocean (sometimes on the sound front) for $1360. For a week. Split four ways (4 families) it is only $340.00 per family. You cannot stay in a nice hotel for that amount and have a private pool hot tub and king sized bedroom with a nice master bath. You cannot beat those prices.

Since we have to eat while we are here each family picks a night that they are responsible for. Whatever night they pick out, they make dinner for the entire crew, including dessert, and clean up. They are also responsible to bring a game for the grownups to play. This still is not expensive because you can purchase all the ingredients at home and bring them with you to the beach house to assemble. For example we have the first night and we decided to do a pizza bar. We will make several pizza doughs here at the house and bring them to the beach house. The kids will all have mini-pizzas and we will make five larges for the adults. The toppings will already be cut and separated out into Ziplocs that we can take there and when we get ready to cook the kids can all make their own pizzas. I will make the pizza sauce ahead of time at home and bring it as well. Our dessert will be a sundae bar. Again same concept - lots of choices to build your own sundae. I purchased many of the toppings very inexpensively over the last few months when I saw them on clearance or had triple coupons at Harris Teeter. Again this will not be a huge expense and the rest of the nights we can sit back because other families will be cooking and cleaning up! We always take the first day because we want to get it over with and relax for the rest of the week.

We usually do not spend any money when we go on this trip. The kids basically play in the pool, eat, go to the beach, eat, play in the pool, eat, go to the beach, eat, etc. We really do not go anywhere or do anything special just let the kids have fun. Occasionally we will take them to an ice cream shop on the corner or some of the moms will go to the outlet stores but generally we just hang out since everyone lives in different places. It is a time for us to spend together. But the house is big enough that if you do need a break from your in-laws you can hide in your bedroom.

Since I have an ING account (email me for a referral) I create subaccounts that I can automatically deposit money into for different things. One of the subaccounts is labeled vacation and months ago I started deposited a bit each payday so now I have several hundred dollars in there in case I need it. No worrying about if we have enough money in the account to cover the trip or having to take money out of savings if there isn't a surplus in the checking account. We have been saving for this already. Since ING automatically debits this out for me I don't really even realize it is there until I need it. We have another trip scheduled later in the summer and this money will be used for that.

Things are not out of your reach just because you are in debt or trying to save.

If you learn anything by reading this blog it is that creatively and preplanning are essential for financial security.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

This is a terrific example of both frugality and creativity. These are the kinds of things that lead to kids' happy memories for a lifetime, and there are cheap ways to make them happen! We do the same thing about food when we vacation with friends -- each family covers a day. Not only do we not have to worry about food for all of the other days, but it gives us some insurance that we will have a day of food that we definitely like! =)