Sep 02 2008

A few financial reflections on our road trip


I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend! Shane and I had a great time on our tour de Indiana. We made stops in four cities during our four-ish day long trip. It is so much fun to spend time with family, and I really wish we could do it more often.

Here’s some financially related reflections I’ve made from this trip:

– We’re normally debit card-only people, since we prefer to monitor our spending online and like the convenience of it all. But when we’re traveling, we’ve found that going cash-only helps us stay on budget, since we aren’t constantly monitoring our accounts and our spending. This weekend, we used cash for gas (that’s a new experience for me–prepaying inside, filling it up, and then going to get change!), food, and entertainment. I think going this route helped us keep things in check.

Gas really is cheaper a few miles from the interstate. At least, we can cite one example: In Springfield, Ohio, gas was $3.75 right off I-70. We drove maybe 3/4 mile to the north and filled up for $3.55/gallon.

Packing a few snacks to munch on would save money and be healthier than fast food junk. Too bad we didn’t do much of that. We had some snacks from home, but we ate too much yucky fast food and gas station food since we weren’t really prepared.

– When police are all over the highways on Labor Day, people tend to slow down and drive like they actually have some sense. This is a good thing. Slower, steadier traffic means better gas mileage and a safer trip for all.

Turning off our AC and unplugging everything while we were gone saved money on our upcoming electric bill. Typically, we use 10-20 kwh per day. While we were gone, we used about 3. I guess that’s what it takes to keep our fridge running.

Having a few freezer meals ready to go is a handy thing for the first evening home. I don’t have to run out to the grocery today. Instead, I can choose from a meatloaf, Caribbean jerk chicken, or spaghetti that’s premade and in my freezer.

– Taking a break from the internet for a few days has a restful effect on me.

– Visiting family is a wonderful thing, but it’s not exactly a vacation.

** Unrelated but pertinent to my blog: I’ve been getting a lot of spam comments that have made their way through my spam filter. I’m going to change my comment settings to automatically post comments only if I’ve approved someone’s comment in the past. If you’re a new commenter, then your comment will be held in the moderation queue until I can look at it. I approve all relevant comments but I don’t allow business urls to be posted. Thanks!

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4 Responses to “A few financial reflections on our road trip”

  1. – Visiting family is a wonderful thing, but it’s not exactly a vacation.

    That made me smile. I know exactly what you mean. It feels great to see everyone but I usually feel more exhausted than rested after a “vacation” visiting family.

  2. Hi Kacie,

    Your comment about gas being cheaper off the interstate is so true!

    We live near a major truck route in Michigan and there is this one road that has 2 exits and entrances on to it in a span of just a mile. In the middle of all this massive traffic is one little gas station.

    This station ALWAYS charges .25 to .30 per gallon more and it’s PACKED with travelers filling up. Every time I go by I just want to stop everyone and say if you go 2 miles down the road you can save big.

    Take Care,


  3. Gas near the interstate is horrible–except at the Carrolton, KY exit!! For some reason this exit off 71 is always super cheap. There is a place midway on 64 between Louisville and Lexington [huge truck plaza] that’s always cheap, too. Snacks on the road are a budget kille–I know! The last 3 weeks of house hunting in Ohio I spent a scary amount pacifying two overly-anxious-about-moving teenagers with junk food!

    Lisa’s last blog post..More school bus problems

  4. I recently went on one last summer road trip and before I left my mother told me to unplug all my electronics because it would save on my electric bill and it did. Funny how mothers are always right! Also bringing snacks is now a must anytime my fiance and I are in the car for over a few hours because of how much money we’ve saved by not stopping to get food. Thanks for all the other great tips.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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