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The price of carelessness (and vacation)

September 19, 2007

I went on a long weekend to visit a friend this past weekend. We didn’t do any major vacations this year, so I am enjoying several little vacations. Spending money on travel is something that usually doesn’t pain me, as friends and new places are something I value highly. The trip was pretty inexpensive, considering plane tickets out of my city are rarely less than $300. After that, the costs were minimal.

Cost of vacation:
$309 – plane ticket
$5 “breakfast” at airport (is potato chips and iced tea really breakfast?)
$11 lunch for me and friend
$15 a rather disappointing sushi dinner.
$9 brunch at a really cute organic restaurant
$10 magazines at the airport (Hmmm, sort of regret this one!)
$5 for Pride and Prejudice (A good deal for a book, and one I want to read anyway)
$5 lunch at airport
$20 parking (could have asked a friend, but the convience was worth it to me)

That is a total of $384, which is not bad at all. Our activities were mostly outdoorsy free things, so that was inexpensive, plus that is also more enjoyable to me.

The cost of carelessness
The previous summary neglects to mention the fact that I left my digital camera on the airplane. I tried to chase it down, but I am now certain it is lost into the abyss. It was a nice camera–a Kodak Easy Share Z740, with 10x optical zoom –but at the same time, I sort of hated it. It was too bulky to easily fit into my purse and sort of embarassing to bring out in social settings. It was a gift from my parents, and while it took amazing pictures while I was abroad last year, I did want a smaller one. Still, I would have waited. And kept this one for more professional shots. Looking online, it sells new for $279, which is painful to know. I’m not even counting the 1G memory card that was inside of it.

I also recently started a photography class, so waiting to buy a camera was sort of out of the question. It was Monday, I needed one by Tuesday at 7:00. I did some research and quickly determined I wanted a canon SD850, a subcompact which sells for about $350 in local stores and just over $300 online. I also looked at the SD750, SD1000, and some in their A series (not as small). I ended up settling for the SD1000, at $250 in local stores. I didn’t think I could wait for shipping, but at 5:27 pm, I noticed that amazon.com said if I bought it in the next 3 minutes, I could have it the next day. Even with shipping, the total was only $225, and I didn’t have to pay the sales tax I would have at Target or Best Buy. I had about 20 seconds to think about it, so I did it. I then found a 2G SD card for $18, which is on the way (slowly, due to free shipping)

In summary:
Cost of vacation – $389
Cost of carelessness – $243

And the vacation money was much much much more fun to spend. Ug.

My next major expense is yet another plane ticket… It looks like it will be $315 for me to fly to Los Angeles to visit the boyfriend for a long birthday weekend in October, so I estimate about 400 total, but I might be low-balling it. I’m going to do better with the airport purchases by planning ahead, and maybe have a friend to drive me to the airport (though $5/day really is a bargain).

After that, I would like to say, no more vacations for months (they eat into my savings goals), but then it is Christmas season (present time), and we are considering new years in Las Vegas. After THAT, no vacations for quite some time!

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