I like to plan things. I love to plan vacations. I especially love to plan vacations when they're for a fun event like my Second Annual 29th Birthday (or 29th Birthday 2: Electric Boogaloo).
I've been in full Vegas-Planning-Mode for at least a month now. I've been hanging out at Trip Advisor reading the Vegas forums for ideas. I've bought plane tickets (spent a good portion of my tax refund on that, but hopefully some of it will eventually be refunded - see Flying While Fat 2: Planning Ahead about why I chose to buy two seats on my Southwest flights). I set aside the rest of my tax refund in savings for lodging. I've started funneling excess funds to my savings account for other Vegas expenses.
I've also been working on planning the itinerary for the trip. I don't want to plan every second, but it's helping me to get an idea of how much I'll be spending.
By the way, if you plan to join me in Vegas, make sure that I know that you're planning on coming! We're working on securing lodging and stuff, and part of my budget is planning for a champagne breakfast for all my friends. I have to make sure I'm saving enough so we don't have an awkward moment at the Bellagio buffet.
I've accounted for meals, gambling, drinks, tips, and cabs, plus an "other" category for whatever it is that I'm likely forgetting. I then calculated the number of paychecks I'll receive between now and my birthday. Took the total expected budget divided by the number of paychecks: bam. That's the amount I'm putting away from every paycheck from now until my birthday. Piece of cake.
I like it when I'm smart.
Of course, I'm also planning on a spa day. That's going to cost some money, too, probably a lot of it depending on what I actually decide to get. I have to wait and find out how much my lodging is going to cost before I really know how crazy I'll be able to go when spa-ing. I don't expect to spend all of what I set aside on hotels, and what's leftover (plus whatever else I manage to stash away) will be the budget for spa treatments.
Am I crazy to be this detailed while planning for a trip that's still almost six months away? I just know that I don't want to have to worry about money while I'm there, and the only way I can think of to avoid that eventuality is to plan to arrive in Vegas feeling like I'm loaded, which means hoarding as much cash as possible before I leave.
Or, you know, get lucky win big on the slot machines on the first day. Then I'll really be set for the trip.
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