Living Beyond Our Means

living beyond our meansWe just spend the past 7 days doing just that. We lived waaaay beyond our means. We worked hard to be able to do it and we will work equally as hard to be able to pay for it. (Yes, we overspent. Gasp!) :)

We splurged for a much, much needed 7 night vacation at the Hyatt Resort in Huntington Beach. For both of us personally, the year could not have had a more difficult start. This was one of those rare occasions where I feel that blowing a budget and going beyond our means was entirely worth it. There are very few things in life that you simply do and figure out how to pay for them later, and this was one of them.

Thanks to a family member who has worked his butt off to obtain a high level position with the Hyatt, we got a great rate on our room. There would have been no way in hell we would have been able to do this without the deal he got us. We also were greeted with a lovely welcome package which made us feel completely awesome:wine and cheeseand then had this waiting for us one night to celebrate our anniversary:
champagne and strawberries
The trip was spent walking and laying on the beach, riding bikes to neighboring Newport Beach, eating good food and drinking good drinks.

We made a few smart financial decisions while we were there, but I took care not to worry about money as much as possible. I think there is a difference between worrying about money and being smart with money. Anyway, back to our good decisions...

- We became experts in finding happy hours at local restaurants and bars.
- We didn't use our car for the entire time we were there. I knew we were going to tip at least $5 every time they brought the car up, so we just left it there. Plus, I hate driving during vacation anyway!
- We joined the hotel's reward program and applied our entire stay to it. Thus earning us 2 free future nights!

We did a couple of other things to get the most our of our money on this trip:

Our stay spanned from Wednesday through Wednesday. Upon arrival, we got a normal room with a courtyard view. We noticed they had an event going on for Vans store employees that seemingly filled the hotel. Then the weekend was coming up. I had a plan for Sunday though. Since we knew a lot of people would be checking out Sunday, we hit the lobby at around noon Sunday and asked if we could move rooms, and possibly even get one with a view. Sure enough, with the simple click of the mouse, the awesome customer service lady had us upgraded to a larger room with a full ocean view. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we enjoyed a room that was absolutely exquisite. All because we asked.

Upon checkout, I thought I would mention the $34/night valet parking fee that we were hit with. Now I'm no cheapskate, but $34 a night is absurd. I simply asked if anything could be done about the parking charges. We were give 3 nights free. All because I asked. A 5 second question which required no groveling from either side, saved us $102.

Even when you're spending a lot of money, saving a little here and there really does make a difference. I estimate that we saved $500+ during our trip just by making smart financial decisions while not short-changing our vacation.

When we were given the receipt at checkout with all of our expenses, Katie saw it and said, "now that's called, living beyond your means". It sure was, but it was worth every penny.

Stay tuned to see how we're going to pay off the extra $1,000 that we spent on this trip! :)

What do you splurge on? How to you save for it?

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