Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Time to "Just Say No"

Vacations are great for a lot of reasons: you get to relax, there's a change of scenery, you spend time with friends or family, maybe you get to soak in the sun. But one thing that's not so great about vacations is all the money you spend, and that's certainly true in a place like Las Vegas.

Those all-you-can-eat buffets aren't worth the $25-35 you spend on them. And drinks that start at $10 but are no stronger or more special than juice with a splash of alcohol in them are a waste. Some say it's okay to spend more on vacation, insisting that this isn't the time to worry about money. Others point out that things are just as overpriced in NYC. Well, I don't generally pay more for something just because I'm on vacation unless I have no choice. And I don't know about anybody else, but I avoid overpriced NYC establishments like the plague, especially when there's often a cheaper alternative a few blocks away.

If this is how I feel, then I must be saving money on this trip, right? Well, not exactly, because if I'm being completely honest, part of the problem is peer pressure.

Gone are the days when I worried about what I'd do if asked to smoke a cigarette... instead, I'm now worried about the friend who wants to order a drink, an appetizer, an entree AND dessert. Sure, we might be sharing one or all of those, but I still end up spending way more than I planned. Sadly, I've realized I just can't bring myself to say no. I hate thinking that my financial worries are getting in the way of everyone else's happiness (yes, I realize that's absolutely ridiculous).

So as I gear up for my next trip, I'm keeping this in mind and am making a concerted effort to be loud and clear about my budget. I'll look up cheaper options when possible and when it comes to eating more courses than my stomach or wallet can afford, I'll learn to just say no.

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