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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default What do you give up to get to Couples?

    I know some folks are blessed with financial bliss, but I think those people are few and far between.
    So what do you do to save up for your next trip?

    I quit smoking recently. 1/2 of what I used to spend on cigarettes goes into my Couples fund. (The other 1/2 goes to the extra expense of 2 more dogs).

    We go home for lunch each day as opposed to eating out (this is both for the savings and to check on the 4 dogs).

    Every non-necessity purchase (new purse, manicure, etc) I stop and think "ok, I can afford this right now, but would I rather add it to the Couples fund?"... you can guess what usually wins!!

    What do you do or what have you given up to get back 'home'?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    729

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    I tend to drink too much so I have cut back to drinking only on weekends and even then try to keep it on the low down. This does two things for me. One saves a ton of money two helps me get into speedo shape for my August trip. We save all our aluminum cans for recycle. I guess that money will be reduced due to the reduction in empty beer cans....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    293

    Default

    I don't buy lunch. I bring left overs from home or eat fruit. We quit buying each other gifts (Christmas, birthdays, anniversary, etc...) All of that money goes into the Couples account.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,204

    Default

    We're spending our kids inheritance!

    Only kidding.

    You'll be surprise at the ways you can save money to pay for a vacation. We have an empty 5 gallon water jug that we use to put all of our change in. Surprisingly it adds up.

    We are not all finacially blessed in fact some of us may even be dealing with work cutbacks and layoffs.

    How dedicated are you to your vacation time?

    Take XYZ amount of money each month and set it aside for your vacation account. Cut back or quit smoking. Don't buy those extra items.

    If you want it bad enough you will find the legal ways of making it happen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    327

    Default

    I don't use a lot of my accumulated PTO at work, so I am going to cash some of that in.

    BTW - we are first-timers at Couples.
    Janice and Keith in FL


    CTI 2009
    CN 2010 2011 2012 2013
    CSS 2014

  6. #6

    Default

    We don't have any addictions (smoking, drinking, gambling, shopping, etc..... except for traveling!

    We work hard... all work & no play is just not the way!

    We buget and stick to it in order to take numerous trips throughout the year. We discovered Couples CSA last year and we fell in love! To add it to our vacation rotation, we cut out our usual cruise.

    We also cut back on eating out! This not only saves $$$, but it also helps our waistline.

  7. #7

    Default

    I wish I had the discipline to really budget and plan. But the problem is, I want it all. I get sort of sad when I have to sacrafice because I work a lot and I work very hard. I feel that I deserve nice things because it justifies how hard I have to work. And Couples of course is a very very nice thing. I realize that IF I sacraficed more, I would be able to go to Couples maybe once a year, but I like to have all the other things I like too, so therefore, I try to go every two years or so to Couples. It's not enough, but it's better than nothing. Once I get some of my other debts paid off...namely my car...I can maybe go to Couples more often. I'd like that. Congratulations to you on your discipline though. Its always a good thing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    358

    Default

    The way we try to look at is $3000 per year for a week vacation (alone) is allot cheaper than a divorce. While the every other week with the kids is attractive living without my husband is not.

    Couples keeps our relationship exciting and new so we just plan for it - book early and if we run short pull the money from savings.
    Last edited by Lovjamaica; July 1st, 2009 at 10:49 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    251

    Default

    Tom and I both quit smoking 13 years ago, so we both put $30 each a week into a special account. That gives us the bulk of the amount needed. We also have the 5 gallon water jug that we put ALL our change into. But that takes a couple years to fill up so we only can use that when it is full. We also started an envelope that we try to put an extra 20 a week into. And we did cut down on a lot of things this past year. We don't go out to eat as much as we use to. I have cut down on every expense that I could this year and that has helped tremendously. We are determined to go to Couples every year and I will do whatever I have to make sure that happens! If there is a will....there is a way!!

  10. #10

    Default Tongue in Cheek

    I personally gave up food. and eating. It was really a waste of my time when I could be working instead. Unfortunately it backfired on me. I lost so much weight that I had to buy all new clothes.

    Now I use the Love Away Plan instead and get to eat!

    Thanks Couples you saved my wardrobe! Fierce!

    Mona


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    315

    Default

    I sacrifice my whole check!! My husband is the one who brings home the bacon. I'm a lunch lady in my kids high school. So my checks go towards vacas. We'er fortunate that way. I'm very thankful!!!

  12. #12

    Default

    I recently gave up my birthday, christmas, ebay, and Kid Rock (that was last night in Houston). That alone will be enough funds for us to go once a year. I really haven't missed anything very much as of yet. We were only going for 4 days but I managed to get the good ole hubby to agree to 8. WooHoo.... It will all be worth it in February. We now beleive that going to Couples once a year is a must. We spent so much time together that we just don't get @ home.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,307

    Default

    We give up electronics. We do not have the latest flat screen TVs (we don't watch that much TV anyway). Bob doesn't even have a cell phone. Our DVD player is a couple of years old (no Blu Ray, no Wii, no Guitar Hero). And don't even get me started on our home computer. We found that we just don't need these types of toys to be happy. I know they are important to many people, just not to us.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,084

    Default

    We try to book early when there is a special going on, and then we slap it on the ol' credit card. Then we spend the time before we leave paying it off. Most of the times it is paid off before we leave, sometimes it not

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    708

    Default

    We never buy each other gifts for Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries. Hubby doesn't even bother to ask what is on my "wish list". I'd rather have a trip to Couples anyday as a pair of diamond earrings. Those memories last forever & I'd probably lose the earrings anyway.

    We also don't splurge that much. Eating out at "fancy" places is not important to us. Expensive perfume, purses, or shoes is not anything that matters to me. Having the newest model of car or cell phone or gadget is not something we are into. We don't have expensive hobbies.

    We usually travel someplace 2-3 times a year - one trip always being Couples & one trip always being the mountains someplace in the western US & if we can swing that 3rd trip, it'll be to Couples again. The last few years have been hard on that schedule because hubby lost his job & had to take a big pay cut at the only job he could find just after we built a new house & went from no mortgage to a having one but we have made it to Couples twice in that time as well as taking our mountain excursion in the fall so guess all is going pretty well. If we can only go once a year, though, it'll be Couples - definitely.
    Julie

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default

    We set up our bank accounts so that every payday, it transfers $150 to savings each for our trip to couples. This trip is a little special as we are getting married and honeymooning and staying in the Hibiscus Cottage, but even with all that we were able to save the needed money by saving $300 every 2 weeks. When we go back to Couples, we will obviously not live it up that much and go for a standard room. But if we keep that savings going, we'd save close to $7200 a year + whatever goes in from Keep the change ($20 a month). Thats 2 trips to couples a year if we were so inclined. Our logic in putting away $150 each was that we spend so much frivolusly in general that might as well tighten our budget by going on trips. Its one less night out to eat, less lunches out at work, less trips of retail therapy. If we could ever quit smoking, we could save like $300 additional a month. I'll also state that we basically live check to check so its not like we have extra money floating around and we have a mortgage and 2 car payments.

    My best advice would be to save it before you see it and then you learn to basically have a new budget to work with and a nice trip or two a year. Then you can do all the little things mentioned previously as well and pretty soon you will be swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck.
    Oct 22nd - Oct 29th CSS -- Hibiscus Cottage

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    26

    Default

    I dont think you should give up on anything; you must live your life to its full and enjoy what you can while you can.

    If your biggest pleasure is traveling to Couples Jamaica or just traveling; then you might as well enjoy the time before during and after.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovjamaica View Post
    The way we try to look at is $3000 per year for a week vacation (alone) is allot cheaper than a divorce. While the every other week with the kids is attractive living without my husband is not.

    HAHAHA!!! I love it!!!
    Wendy

  19. #19

    Default Selling teenagers?

    We are considering selling our teenagers to get money for our next trip....anyone interested??!!

    It's quite a bargain...along with the "looks" and attitude...you can also get loads of laundry, hair products and make-up everywhere, dirty dishes, broken curfews, empty snack cupboards, half full cans of soda pop, texting bills, and shoes of every style and color.

    Quite a bargain! Going once, going twice...

    ~Lisa

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    137

    Default

    I have money deposited into my savings and I just increased that again. We have the vaca coffee can also.I pack my lunches and quit smoking 5 years ago. Also, since I quit playing softball, I don't go out as much and drink as much either.We always use our tax refund for our trips and hubby is tightening up again, don't think we will get to CSA this winter,I am so depressed! I am spoiled now and I don't give up easily. I will keep on prodding!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    17

    Default

    We just can't make it every year, but our goal is every other year. We both drive older model cars, and keep our spending to a minimum. We take our lunch to work every day, and have cut eating out to once per week. We also have a "Couples" envelope that we both try to add to each week. Last year, my mom asked if we would like money for our envelope for Christmas. Of course! So now our parents give us "Jamaica dollars" instead of gifts for Christmas and birthdays. We also put money in the envelope instead of other gifts for each other. I can't think of anything I'd rather have than a week in Jamaica with my honey! So far, we have our August trip paid for, and now we are working on 2011. Woohoo!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    228

    Default

    I am going to start off with a disclaimer that we are fortunate our kids are grown so we do not have the kids expenses like younger folks do. When we were raising kids it would have been much harder to travel like we do now.
    But here is what we gave up to enjoy the ability to travel:

    We gave up up-grading to a bigger, more expensive home. We are very happy in our smaller home, with much lower utility expenses and a much lower mortgage.
    We gave up driving new cars and we would never lease. We buy used, pay off relatively quickly and drive for years with no car payments.
    We gave up "status" buying. No expensive designer labels. Most of our clothes come from Ross or Marshalls or other discounters.

    It is a little easier for us because we are at the stage in our life where we have more disposable income. But by giving up the idea that we need a bigger house, a newer bigger car, or a 'Coach" handbag, we have put ourselves in the position to not have to give up a year at Couples.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    181

    Default

    In addition to sticking to a pretty strict budget throughout the year, we bring our lunches to work more often, we don't eat out as much and surprisingly to some, we only exchange very inexpensive gifts for b-days, anniversary, etc. I'd rather go on a trip than get a fancy bouquet or a new piece of jewelry any day!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    178

    Default

    Good question! We've been back every year since 2002 (save one) and I will give up anything/everything to make it happen. We don't eat out unless someone gives us a gift card (which cuts the cost in half), we save coin, I don't color my hair and fortunately for me the gray has come in a manageable way, my husband has $100 taken out of his check and shoved into a credit union every week and we use that, plus for spending cash we use the money we collect by using our credit card and I just apply for that a few weeks ahead of the trip. Whatever it takes.

    I don't know about the rest of the ladies, but at my age I don't really give a ---- about how many clothes I have anymore. I've been out of work, more or less, for over two years so I have no need to buy them. So if you see someone walking around in the middle of February with a very dark tan and crappy clothes, it's probably me!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I've given up having kids for a while Our vacation plans are what keep me grounded, reminding me why we're waiting!

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