A testimony from Kayse from Finding Hope
My husband and I had a stressful year. He was in grad school and worked three jobs, and I worked full time from home and took care of our daughter.
That didn’t leave much time for each other, and we needed to get away together for a few days! However, we already had a tight budget and didn’t know how we could possible afford a three-day trip.
Here’s what we did:
- We put a cookie jar on the dresser in our bedroom, and collected all of our change for about six months.
- My husband put aside all of the tip money he received from one of his jobs, adding it to the cookie jar, all year long.
- He also picked up a few extra gigs throughout the year (he is a professional musician) that we hadn’t expected or added into our budget, so all of that money went in the cookie jar!
- I cut the grocery budget and didn’t by any extras in any category during the last three weeks before the trip.
Although I knew about and helped contribute to the money saving, my husband did all the planning, keeping the trip a complete surprise for me! He scoured the internet and found all the best deals! He also planned the trip mid-week for the best hotel prices!
Here’s what we got to enjoy:
- Three glorious days in Big Bear Lake, only an hour and a half away from our home. (We didn’t have to spend much on gas.)
- A toddler-free trip! He asked his parents to come stay with our girl… for free!
- A car rental — just for fun, he rented a convertible for the trip! He knew the manager, as she came into his store every day, so he got the car for less than $50 a day.
- Two nights in an inn with an in-room spa tub — for $150 total!
- Freedom! Because we had more than enough cash on hand for the three days, we were able to do whatever we wanted. We went out to nice dinners, took a boat ride, and got a couples’ massage at a local spa!
It was so much fun to be able to go on a trip and not worry about how we were going to pay for everything when we got home!
The freedom of paying for everything in cash really added to the relaxation of our trip! It allowed us to spend time together and take advantage of enjoyable opportunities, without having to worry about the cost. We were able to invest in the weekend and each other! You can read more about our trip here.
We’ll never do it another way again!
Kayse is a wife, mommy, and teacher. She writes over at Finding Hope about finding hope among the day-to-day realities of dinners, dishes, and diapers.
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I’m in the process of planning a surprise trip like this for my husband. I’m so excited, I can barely keep myself from telling him!
I think the idea of renting a fancy car for the weekend is super fun! Props to your hubby on that idea. I’m curious where you got the deal on your room? That’s pretty much the last piece of the puzzle I need to fill for our trip in a couple weeks.
Have you checked out Groupon Getaways or Living Social Escapes? I sometimes find good deals on hotels on those sites 🙂
The car was AWESOME. 🙂 Jon shopped around for the room – he literally called every inn in Big Bear. 🙂 But Kristen is right – groupon and living social are great resources for stuff like that! I also really love to use Priceline’s name your own price feature. You just enter the area you’d like to stay in, and how many stars you want the hotel rated, and how much you’d like to pay, and it’s always worked out really well for us. You don’t get to choose your hotel, but you choose a specific (small radius) area, and if you pick 3-4 stars, we’ve always landed rooms at a Hilton, Marriott, or something similar!!
Years ago the local paper was $3.50 a week including the tip. Times were tight for us and the girls were very young but I would manage to put that $1.50 away every week toward a one night stay at a hotel for our annual get away. In the beginning that is all we could afford. We also had wonderful parents that watched our kids overnight.
Our first trip consisted of a living museum about an hour and a half away, all meals out, a swim in the hotel pool, a hike at a state park, and a flea market the next day. We enjoyed ourselves so much we were hooked. That was 26 years ago.
We are empty nester’s now and although we travel with friends and family on our larger vacations we still plan at least one long weekend a year just for the two of us and we still love it.
I love that you still travel together. That’s what I want!!
What a nice post. Your husband sounds wonderful. Last year, I cashed in some travel points from a credit card that I had paid off years ago. I took my husband to the ocean for his birthday weekend. He loved it. My points covered the hotel on the beach and we spent some $ eating out. His birthday is next week and I crunched some numbers and fell short of being able to take him again. He was disappointed, but I think if I save a little longer, I’ll be able to take him in September – after rates drop. It will still be warm and beautiful. There was a time when I would have just pulled out a credit card and never thought twice. I think we’ll appreciate it more by planning and saving.
Totally true. September is a perfect time! Less crowded. 😉
What a great post…My hubby and I are planning a DC trip for 2014 with no kids (been planning on it for a full year already) we are piggy backing it with a trip that I am making to a national convention for my job-a portion of my trip will be paid for by the organization that I am currently VP of so we really only need to come up with hubby’s portion-we will get to stay in a nice hotel for a discounted rate (b/c of the conference) this post really give me some great ideas for stuff to do in the next two years to help save even more for some nice dinners or other things!
That sounds GREAT!! So fun!!
Liz @ Wonder Woman I'm Not says
Congratulations on your get away. It’s so important when you have small children to focus on your marriage. Hope you have the opportunity to do it again.
Debora A. Acevedo says
I agree! I’d been married for almost 23 years and for the majority of it, our only focus was on the kids and we forgot about us. By the Grace of God, we are surviving this rough patch in our marriage. Take care of each other.
Thank you for your advice. We’ve been through a few huge rough patches already, so we are trying our best to put our marriage first!
I’m so thrilled for you! It’s so awesome what a little discipline can do!! I went to your blog and read the whole story. I don’t know if it was my computer or your site but it was pulling it up really slow and then just getting stuck.
I was inspired by your husband’s ways of surprising you since it’s something I’ve been saying to my husband so I forward him your story.
Hi! Thanks so much – I’m sorry the site was having trouble loading, I’ve been having difficulty with that lately too! Working on it… thanks for the feedback!
That is wonderful. Gosh, we need to try that! Hooray for the two of you.
Thanks you! It was a blast. 🙂