How to write a resignation letter

Are you thinking of quitting your job and going out in search of greener pastures? If so, you will want to carefully craft a resignation letter to let your boss know that you will be leaving.

Sure, you could just want into their office and announce your plans but that is really not the best way to handle things for two reasons.

  1. You don’t want to burn bridges.
  2. You want to make sure there is written record of you putting in your notice in case they tell you to pack your things on the spot. With written notice of a time period until your departure they will still have to pay you for the time you specified if they fire you on the spot.

You may think that they would never fire you – but people can get spiteful when you turn in a resignation letter. Once I was quitting a job and I put in a resignation letter saying that I was giving my two weeks notice. The next day I got called into the office and was told that they were aware that I had put in my notice for two weeks but that I could leave effective immediately but would still be paid for the two weeks in accordance with the law. What law – I don’t really know but I like it. I was not expecting to get asked to leave early. And I did get paid for those two weeks.

When you quit your job and give notice, the standard notice time (at least here in the US) is two weeks. You may or may not want to give them longer time. If you do not want to burn bridges, the longer notice you can give then the better that looks. And a lot of times when employers do reference checks at your old job they will ask how much notice you gave before you left.

Remember to keep your resignation letter professional. Do not tell them about all of the things that the company does wrong. Do not tell them how you do not like them or your co-workers or anything else. Think of it like when you are ending a romantic relationship – the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse works wonders for leaving jobs.

When writing the resignation letter you do not need to make it a long letter. It needs to be simple. The important thing is that it says that you are leaving the company and when that will happen. But if you are feeling punchy about your new job, you can give them some additional info. Just remember that less is more in this case.

Here is an example of a short and to the point resignation letter:

Dear (insert name of your boss here),

Please accept this letter as my resignation from my position as (insert job title here).

My last day will be on (insert date), two weeks from today(or however long it is).

Regards,

(your name)

Now, you could also do something a little longer too. I like to think of this one as the “please give me a good reference” letter:

Dear (insert name of your boss here),

Please accept this letter as my resignation from (company name) effective Thursday, November 15th, 2007 (or the correct date).

Working for (insert company name) has been a wonderful experience. I could not ask for a better group of colleagues. I have grown in many ways here and will always treasure the opportunities provided for me by (insert company name).

I will be accepting a position as (position) with (company name). While I will miss my friends here at (company name), I feel that it is time for a new challenge and experience.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Best Wishes,

(your name)

There are also many other examples of resignation letters online. So, if you are not sure what to write, just do a search for some examples.

What type of undergrad degree should you have before getting an MBA?

It was not really all that long ago that I completed my studies for my MBA. I remember being pretty excited at the accomplishment and thinking that it meant great and wonderful things for my career.

At the time, I was working as a cost accountant at a Fortune 500 company. How did I land that job? Good question because my undergrad is not in Accounting. Or Finance. Or even Business. It is in English and Journalism, with a minor in PoliSci.

I thought that by getting an MBA I would actually be more qualified for jobs like the one that I had as well as opening up a field of opportunities that were a bit more, well, increasing in responsibility. I was hoping to snag an Financial Analyst job somewhere, but would take an accountant job.

Along the way, I have learned something that I wish someone had told me before I got my MBA.

It doesn’t matter. Employers want to see some type of business related undergrad degree, regardless of the MBA. I have had countless interviews where I have been told “If you only had a bachelor’s in accounting…”

The kicker here is that clearly I had to go back and take all of those undergrad accounting classes as prereqs for the MBA. And even if I didn’t, wouldn’t you as an employer want someone with no accounting background that could pass graduate level accounting classes?

Now sure, there are people who can get around this because they are networking to get a job. And honestly, networking is not so much about your job qualifications as it is about your social skills.

If I had to do it all over, I would have gotten a second bachelor’s in accounting, finance or business instead of the MBA.  So, if you are thinking of getting an MBA and don’t have a business background, you may want to think over your decision carefully.

In retrospect, I see that it is a good idea to really evaluate your motivations for getting the MBA. For me, it was mostly about increasing my salary. Not the best reason to get an MBA. And I knew that accounting and finance were not my passion, yet I went ahead and got the MBA anyways.

I learned a lot of valuable things though in my MBA studies. So, am I glad I got it? In a sense, yes. I just wish it had not been so costly because everything I learned I could have gotten from a $30 paperback from Barnes & Noble.

A look at motivation

Motivation is an interesting thing.

What is interesting about it is that the things that motivate us are different for each of us. For instance, I am motivated to pay off my debt because I don’t like having my hand forced. Meaning – I want to be able to take my money and do what I wish with it instead of having to send it all off to credit card companies.

My motivation for going to college to get my undergrad degree was that it was what I was supposed to do. My motivation to keep my grades up was to keep my scholarships. Other motivation was the whole ‘need to have a degree to get a good job’ thing. Then I got out of college and have had a succession of good paying jobs that required no college degree at all.

Then I got motivated to get my MBA because of the thought of a higher salary and quite possibly an office with a door.

Getting up and going to a job I hate? The motivation for that is the debt and the thought that one day I won’t have to do that.

The motivation for getting into a healthier lifestyle? Seeing family members health deteriorate mostly due to choices that they had made to do things the unhealthy way.

Motivation for blogging? Partly a jumbled mind, partly a quest to make some extra cash online and partly because the original “When I grow up” dream involved writing for a living.

Now, if we take all of these things and asked a group of people to say what motivates them to do each of those things I am certain that the answer would be completely and totally different.

Just a search on Google shows a plethora of people that are blogging with their sole motivation being to make money online. Some of them happen to be decent writers and they actually have pretty good sites. And some of them, well, let’s just say that it is obvious that they are focusing on cash instead of anything else.

And of course, motivation can also change along the way. It is also subject to things like procrastination and laziness. Or, if we use yesterday as an example, it can be affected by external factors (electricity going out for waaaaaay too long) which then leads to emotional factors like annoyance and frustration causing a decline in motivation.

I think it is safe to say that for the most part that most of up want to keep our motivation levels high.

So, the million dollar question is: How do we maintain high levels of motivation?

I am certainly not an expert, but this is something that I have been pondering. And from thinking about it and writing this post it seems that there is one underlying thread that could maintain a constant high level of motivation were it present all of the time.

What is that one thing?

A positive attitude or outlook.

Sure, that is easier said that done. Trust me, I know. Of course being able to maintain a constant positive outlook also means that you have to have pretty decent self-esteem and self-worth so that you do not succumb to depression and such. Like I said, easier said than done, right? But if I was able to maintain a positive outlook I would not have gotten so frustrated by the lack of power yesterday. Instead I could have used the time sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air or something. Instead, I repeatedly called the electric company’ s hotline for a service restoration update. Needless to say I got practically nothing accomplished yesterday even though there were plenty of things I could have done with no electricity.

So, one of my new personal goals is to try to always have a positive attitude about things. Everything. No matter what. Well, within reason. I mean, if this was WWII era I would not be all positive about what was happening, but you know what I mean.

So, I am going to try really hard to keep that positive outlook and I am going to see how that works out for me. And I am going to try to be even more productive. It stands to reason that if I am more positive that I should be more motivated to get things done and should therefore be more productive.

 

Debt has really strong shackles and chains

Do you ever find yourself having to do something just because of your debt?

For instance, do you have to take a job that pays well over a job that you are interested in or that you have a passion for?

Do you have to forgo an exotic vacation because you can’t afford it because of your credit card payments?

Do you find yourself spending all of your hard earned money on bill payments instead of savings or things that you would like to spend your money on?

Um, pretty much all of those are me right now.

Today I had to waste 3 hours getting an employment assessment with the unemployment office in order to keep getting my unemployment checks (more on that tomorrow!). It was a complete and total waste of time, but I had to go because I need the money from the unemployment checks. Luckily I had two messages about potential jobs when I got home!

I have hated my recent jobs. And the types of jobs that I am interviewing for – I know I’m going to hate those too because they are all the same types of positions. Sadly, I do not have a lot of choice at this point as debt dictates that I need the highest paying job possible. My current unemployment stint is only making that even more the case.

Sure, I could get two lower paying jobs and come out the same in the end. However, I’m not doing that because it would be many more work hours. Before I became unemployed I was making a little extra cash online, which was going towards the debt so that I could stop working jobs I hate.

Ah, debt is a vicious cycle.  And the shackles and chains are way strong.

I plan on breaking those shackles and chains though. I have declared war on debt.

Hopefully it will not be quite the long and drawn out war that Bush currently has the US troops fighting overseas. Nope, I want a nice quick war against debt.

After having to go to the dreadful thing I went to today I was left with one thought – this has got to change.

I have got to annihilate the debt now! Sure, I’ve known it was there and I have even been focused on it. It’s all out war now. I never want to have my hand forced again just because of debt.

So, what am I going to do about it?

First, I am gonna hit the job hunt full force. I admit, I have been kind of doing it a bit half-ass these past few weeks. I;ve just gotten into a bit of a routine. I get the unemployment, I make a little money on eBay and I watch some Law & Order reruns on cable.  It’s a nice routine, but it’s getting me nowhere fast.

Then, I am going to start looking for ways to make extra cash online and other ways. I’ve been published in magazines before, so I will start looking for opportunities like that. I will also start looking for things like paid reviews or maybe even for advertisers for this or some of my other sites.

I might even consider looking for something at the mall for the weekends. It’s the holiday season so a lot of places will be hiring. That means it should not be too difficult to find something – provided I can handle working two jobs. I guess that will depend on what I get for my primary job.

And I am going to squeeze out all the non-necessities out of my spending. I’m going to try to not go to the grocery store (except for produce and milk) until my pantry is completely bare. If there is only taco sauce, peanut butter and rice then I guess I will be eating rice with taco sauce and peanut butter! (eww, maybe not)

I’m keeping the high speed internet but I’m turning the cable off! It might only save $10 a month, but that is something. And in my past experience, if you have high speed cable internet you can usually still get regular basic cable on your television. If not, oh well, I’ll miss you Law & Order reruns.

That’s all I can think of for now. Have you declared war on your debt? Have any tips for other measures I can take in my war on debt? If so, let me know!

25 things I’d love to do

1. Learn to play violin.

I have always loved the violin but my parents did not encourage us to be musical, so it was a faraway love. I’d love to be able to rock a violin like Sharon Corr or the girls of Bond or Lindsey Stirling.

2. Be out of debt!

This is something that I am working on. I really wish it would happen sooner rather than later though.

3. Spend a year reading the classics.

I love literature and I love reading – but I never seem to have enough time to read. I’d love to be able to focus on reading some of the classics. So far, my favorite of the classics that I’ve read so far is The Three Musketeers.

4. Live a minimalist lifestyle

I would love to be more of a minimalist. I really hate clutter and stuff but when I try to get rid of stuff it never works. I think living in a tiny house would be cool.

5. Learn how to sew my own clothes

My mom can sew like nobody’s business. She made my prom dress my junior year because I couldn’t find anything that I liked in the stores. It was so awesome and it ended up costing only around $60!

6. Learn to fly a plane

My dad had a small plane when I was growing up. It was pretty cool to go on vacation by hopping in your own plane. Plus I have control issues so I would be better flying myself than getting on a 747.

7. Be able to read a book in a foreign language.

I’d like to be able to read books that are written in another language in their native language. I’m certain there are things lost in the English translation.

8. Be my own boss.

I would love to have my own business. It would be great to be that much in control of my own money potential. Plus I have issues with authority sometimes 😉

9. Be fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and German.

I know a fair amount of Spanish and some Italian. I would really like to be able to visit places where these are the languages spoken and have no problem communicating. I’m learning on Duolingo now.

10. Be able to make shortbread cookies that taste like Walker’s Shortbread.

I’ve been working on this for a few months. Just when I think I have found the right recipe…I am wrong.

11. Learn some kind of karate.

I don’t want to be a ninja or anything, but it would be nice to know some of those moves.

12. Be able to not care about what people think.

For the most part, I don’t care what people think. However, I don’t do things like sing or dance in front of people because I care what people think. I’d like to be able to get past that at some point in my life.

13. Learn to salsa and some other Latin dances.

Of course, first I would have to conquer #12…

14. Live in Europe.

Where exactly – I’m not sure. How long – as long as possible.

15. Feel successful.

It is hard to feel successful when life does not turn out the way that you have planned.

16. Go on an archeology dig.

I used to want to “grow up” and be an archaeologist. It is still something that I find insanely interesting.

17. Retire early.

Of course, I need to pay off the debt first. Maybe I can find a place in Europe to move to with a low cost of living, then I can retire early!

18. Do stand up paddle boarding at Waikiki Beach.

I definitely don’t have the money for hawaii right now, but I’ve seen photos of people on paddleboards like this at the beach and it looks like a lot of fun (though I’d probably fall in!).

19. Grow my own veggies.

Once #18 is done, I’d like to have a pretty decent garden with my own veggies and herbs. It will be a long process though cause I keep killing my house plants! lol 🙂

20. Have a foosball table in my house.

I love to play foosball. So, I’d love to have a room with one in it so that I could play some games whenever I want like back when I was in college and they had one in the common room at the dorms. I’ve looked and some of the foosball tables are cheap.

21. Be more laid back and less stressed.

I get stressed pretty easily. So, I would like to get to a point where I can be more laid back and easy going.

22. Go to a Christmas market in Switzerland

I’ve been reading about these in travel magazines for a while. I would so love to go to one. Especially the one in Basel.

23. Learn some graphic design skills

I tinker with website stuff here and there but I would really like to have some actually skills.

24. Learn to drive a stick shift car.

I kinda know how, but I get really nervous on hills!

25. Get back into art.

I used to be very into painting and sketching. Now there just doesn’t seem to be time for it. Well, that is my list – what are the 25 things you’d like to do?

Getting on the road to financial success

Not too long ago I was working a decent paying job with lots of overtime pay and spending every dime that I was making. I would get paychecks around $1500 and by the time the next paycheck was due in two weeks time I was out of cash. Thinking about that now kind of makes me sick.

Fortunately, I have gotten way better at money management but it was not an overnight task.

About two years ago I had to sell a paid off car that I absolutely loved just so that I could pay my American Express bill. I had charged it up on an impromptu trip to Los Angeles that I thought I both deserved and could afford. Turns out neither assumption was correct.

That was my only car, so before selling it I had to get another one. Funny logic, I know. So, I went to a lot and got myself a brand spanking new car and only put $500 down because, let’s face it, I couldn’t even afford to put that much down. That got me a $350 car payment on a 72 month loan. *sigh*

I sold the car, paid off the credit card and immediately booked a trip to London.

I know, I was really an idiot. I get that now.

Luckily for me I did not book the London trip on the AMEX, which has to be paid off in full each month, but on another card. I quickly realized though that I could not afford the trip to London because I did not have another car to sell to finance it. Man how I missed that car too. Oh the agony of realizing stupid financial decisions.

That was when I started realizing that I need to be better with money. Up until that point I was living life in the now and thinking that I would worry about retirement if I lived that long.

One of the first things I did was sign up for the 401K program at work. They matched 5% so I put 5% as my contribution.

Other than not taking the trip to London and signing up for 401K that was pretty much all I did for about a year in terms of being financially responsible. I kept going to restaurants with regularity. I bought books and cds I didn’t need. I liked new clothes that I didn’t need. So, I wasn’t dropping a lot of cash at once (say on a trip) but I was spending that equivalent slowly.

Then about a year later I wanted to book another trip overseas. My other half would not let me. We will call that a blessing. I was mad about it for a little while but looking back it was the best thing ever as a lot of medical bills were about to start happening due to some unforeseen health issues.

That happened at about the same time as our apartment lease was up. We had been planning on moving back to NYC and getting an apartment with a max rent cost of $2500. Instead we moved into the spare room at my parents for 3 months.

It was horrible. They lived an hour from our jobs. We had to get up at 4:30 am to be at work by 8:30 am, since everyone had to shower and get ready. We didn’t have a lot of space and they only had dial up internet! Eek. But we had no rent payment. There were no restaurant nearby as it was a rural area, so we didn’t spend a lot eating out. We didn’t spend a lot on food cause the ‘rents shared. We were able to save up about $7,000 before we got a new place of our own – and not in NYC. Our rent now is only $767, but I have decided that is still too much. When our lease is up in January we are looking for as close to $500 as we can get. But first we’re going to stay with family again for a couple of months.

After moving out of the parents we read Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence which totally changed our way of thinking. If you have not read this book then you are seriously cheating yourself out of some great information.

We started tracking our spending and created our very own wall chart, as suggested in the book. We have stopped buying things like books and DVDs and have instead been enjoying the local public library. If we cannot find something that we want at the library then we use MyPoints to get a gift card for Barnes and Noble and buy it that way.

We have started creating menus for the month and doing our grocery shopping once every 3 weeks. This has greatly reduced the amount that we spend at the grocery store! I have also just started my own price book, which should help save us even more. We have reduced our dining out to only once a month, and usually that is only because we are out somewhere and have no way of eating our own food. But when we do dine out we either use a free gift card from MyPoints or we use a coupon! We do not do fast food, even though it is cheaper, because we have also gotten health conscious while on our debt diet.

One of the important things that I have learned is that it is more important to pay for experiences that it is for stuff. For instance, we are going to a local festival with family this weekend and there is a fee to go. I would rather pay that fee than pay for something I do not need at Best Buy or Target. The memories will always outlast the stuff.

While I have found my way to the path of financial success, I am afraid that I have not gotten very far down the path. I still have some debt that is pretty major, but I am focused on paying it down. Once that is taken care of though I plan on working on retirement saving. And I have done my best to educate my youngest brother on financial success and the costly detours that I took. Hopefully my lessons are enough to keep him from having to learn them on his own.

Tips on special gifts for mothers this Christmas

Only a few days before Christmas is no time to be trying to think up something to buy Mom. She didn’t wait until the weekend before a holiday to buy your gifts, and then just grab a gift card on the way over. If you care enough to give the very best, these four tips are sure to help bring a smile to Mom’s face every time.

Tip #1 – Put your time into it.

Don’t have two hours to spare for Mom? Well, then don’t bother, but you are missing out on an inexpensive way to greatly increase the value of your gift. One year, my girlfriend and I bought my mom a breadbox. It was white and simple, nothing exciting. Then, we took it out of the box, got out some paints and stencils, and went to work all over it in purples and blues. My Mom was genuinely delighted. She has done some moving and reducing since then, throwing away things that she didn’t need. Through all of her moves, this several-year-old breadbox has survived each downsizing.

More than anything else, mothers notice the time you put into something. Maybe it is because time is what they gave to you all throughout your childhood.

You don’t have to have any great skill. Make her a CD of songs you think she’ll like, paint her an already made pottery piece, make a book of coupons to do things like cleaning her garage or painting the porch, and when she calls to cash them in, show up!

Tip #2 – Put your talents into it. 

It’s possible that your mother has fifteen children. She might forget your birth order, and call you by the wrong name when you frustrate her to the point of confusion, but more than likely she can instantly call your face to mind when she picks up a picture you drew for her back in the third grade. There is just something about the old talent-infused gift that really gets mom’s attention.

Tip #3 – Think small. 

Bigger isn’t necessarily better. This isn’t her last holiday. It’s also no time for buying something that she needs, like a new pan or pillowcases. It’s one of those special holidays, meant to remind your mom that you love her, and why you love her. It doesn’t hurt to show her you were paying attention either. Does your mom overbuy your daughter Barbie accessories, because she always wanted a Barbie and never got one as a child? It’s not too late. She doesn’t need it, but who cares? It means you were listening.

Tip #4 – Don’t give her something you would buy your boss.

Moms like flowers. That’s what you wanted to hear, so there it is. And, honestly, most probably do, but here is something that they also like, to know they are special. We all do, and most of us realize that the easiest thing to give someone is flowers. Everyone likes flowers. So unless your Mom loves her garden more than anything else in this world, and you are buying them because you know there is nothing she loves more, don’t send her the most common gift known to the human race. It ranks up there right below gift cards as the most thoughtless gift you could possibly give her.

Remember, chances are you only have one Mother, so get her something this year that lets her know how unique and special she is to you.

Why use a price book?

I had a email from a reader on my post on creating a price book where the reader wants to know:

“What’s the purpose behind a price book? To compare prices of the same items at different stores? I get that I guess, but I just can’t see creating a grocery list for 1/3 of my groceries at Safeway, 1/3 of them at Save-on-Foods, 1/4 of them at Costco and little bits and pieces here and there at random places around town. My time is worth more than having to drive all around town to save a few cents on a box of Kleenex, for example… so what purpose does it serve in a really practical way?”

I am new to creating a price book, so some you may have better answers than me! I posted my response to that post before realizing that this might be best as a separate post so that it does not get buried in the comments section of that old post.

My response to the above question is:

I’m not an expert, but here is what I plan to use it for..
1. To see what store really has the best prices on the things that I buy
2. So that when I see a sale ad I will know if it is really a good deal or not
3. If I see something on sale in the store I can check if it is really a good deal.
4. To help set a realistic grocery budget.

I don’t plan on driving all around town to save a few cents cause gas is too expensive for that! But say if I happen to be by a Target and I am low on mustard and they have the cheapest mustard then I know that and can run in for it.

So,  now I am calling out to those of you that use price books or have thoughts on them that you would like to share. You can leave your comments on this post instead of the one on price books.

Creating a price book

Something that is mentioned in what seems like every ‘getting your finances together’ type of book or blog that I read is creating a price book so that you can really take hold of the reigns when it comes to grocery shopping. Since I have read this so many times, I have decided that I should do this as well. But I am a procrastinator. Then I happened to go to Target right before going to the grocery store a couple of months ago. I went back to the food section to get a Ritter Sport chocolate bar since they are so hard to find and saw some other things that were on my grocery list. I didn’t get them though because I was going grocery shopping upon leaving Target. So, I get to the grocery store and guess what? Every item that was at Target was cheaper there than at the grocery store!  😯  That is what really got me to thinking I needed to get me a price book.

According to The Dollar Stretcher there  three steps to creating a price book.

  1. Start saving up your receipts.
  2. Go through all the store ads and copy down prices of items you regularly buy.
  3. Start taking your book with you to the store and adding to it as necessary.

For me, the problem is what am I going to put this in? Clearly a small little notebook would be the easiest in terms of size and portability. But it would be hard to update. That brings me to creating an excel document. Easy to update but not exactly small like I wanted. This decision is what has kept me from making a price book!

I have decided that excel is the way to go and I can print it out in any way that I want to make it small and compact. Plus I can just write on the print out any updates. Then when I get home I can update it and re-print for the next store shopping.

So, I have been saving my receipts for a couple of months now. I am pulling them all out to create this price book and I am wishing I had not been such a procrastinator. The descriptions on the receipts do not make it easy to tell what everything is!

So, now that I have a basic idea of what I want my price book to look like I will take my gathered up receipts and start plugging the info into excel. And I suspect it will go through a lot of updating over the next couple of months before I get everything in it that I want to have in it.

How do you do cheap travel overseas?

I have mentioned before that I am treading water in a sea of debt and that is no joke. Most of my debt is due to an addiction. Travel. I love to travel! I just can’t help myself when I see a good travel deal.

I try to justify it in my brain with the thought “You got a really good deal though” even though I really should be putting all my money towards debt. On my behalf I have been doing pretty good as I have only fallen off the turnip truck a few times. (If this phrase is unfamiliar to you I issue the following warning – I grew up in the South where this is said all the time. I said this phrase in the NorthEast last week and was met with blank stares.)

Usually my travel addiction is limited to U.S. locations as the both cheapest and easiest option for me. However, every now and then I get the itch to go back overseas. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I have a lot of airline miles with British Airways that are set to expire in March. I can get a free ticket to London. But I’d have to pay for everything else.

Now, a smart person would say “If I can’t afford the ‘everything else’ then I will just lose the free flight because it’s not worth it.” But a chica with issues like me says “Dude, it’s a free flight to London! And I love London. ” See how I get myself into trouble?

The real issue here is the current state of the exchange rate. Oy. Looking at XE.com today. Ouch. It will cost a fortune to go to London or Europe!

I seriously doubt that the exchange rate will turn to my favor before I find myself overseas, so that means I have about 7 months to figure out how I can use my free plane ticket without needing to rob a bank. (that was a joke – it’s hard to convey sarcasm over the internet. we need a special font for it.)

After reading a lot lately about people getting to their destination overseas and their checked luggage not showing up I know for certain that I will not be checking anything. And I do not want to have a lot of luggage anyways as I usually take a lot of trains when overseas. So, since peanut butter is a banned item I cannot pack that to save on food like I did last time.

I am thinking I should make a list of what I will need to pay for in order of most expense and work my way down the list so that I will have the more expensive things covered first. This way if I don’t get everything covered on the list the expensive stuff will be taken care of. I’m not sure where I want to go yet, so it will be sort of general. (estimating high here…I hope) Here is what I imagine those expenses to be and a rough estimate:

  1. Hotels – let’s say 7 nights at $150 = $1050
  2. Food – let’s say around $850
  3. Transportation/Rail pass/ Ferry pass (Ireland?) – at least $500
  4. Emergency money (in case get sick/injured while there) – at least $500
  5. Misc. activities – around $300
  6. Misc. shopping – around $200
  7. Airport parking -around $125

If anyone sees anything I may have left off, please let me know as I want to make sure I account for everything. Granted, I have a few months, but still.

For the hotel, I think I will focus on trying to get some free stay with a hotel rewards program. I have a Marriott, Hilton and Holiday Inn rewards account. All of them have some points. I can also earn Hilton Honors points through MyPoints. And my American Express Rewards program offers points for all three. E-Rewards also offers up Hilton Honors points.

For food, the cheapest option may be to go to a grocery store once I get where ever it is that I end up going. The problem will be how to make what I get. You can make a lot of stuff in coffee pots, but if I remember correctly there are not coffee pots in the hotel rooms overseas. At least not the ones I stayed in. Sandwiches may be the only way to go here. Last time I was in London I did really well with finding local places to eat away from tourist areas, but the exchange rate kills that savings.

I don’t know how I can save on any of the other costs. Sure, I don’t have to shop or do a lot of activities that cost money. And I probably won’t but I like to plan with a bit of a cushion.

Something else to consider when traveling abroad are the currency exchange fees that credit card companies charge you. I know that Capital One does not do this. When I was in Ireland the hotel I was at converted charges to dollars instead of Euros and charged for it and then my credit card company charged me too!

Wow, trying to plan overseas travel on the cheap is difficult! If you have traveled overseas recently and were able to do it inexpensively feel free to give me some tips! I have a subscription to Budget Travel magazine and plan on looking through the latest issue of it for some pointers. If I find anything great I will point it out.