Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Saving for Milan

Our two biggest concerns when this Milan trip came up were
1. Will I be able to go (& work)?
2. How will we ever afford it?

Because the primary reason for this trip is for Eric's church internship, we went to our church for support. They were able to help us a little, and we were grateful for the consideration, but it put a huge decision on our laps...It would mean a significant depletion of our savings.

I worked hard the past three years to build up a tiny savings on our tiny income, so I was(am?) a little stressed about the prospect of using some of our meager nest egg. But ultimately, this is exactly the kind of thing that we decided we should use our savings for--a once in a lifetime opportunity.
My job for the moment is really stable and with our future (after E's graduation next spring) very unstable, we're not getting ready to do any of the "next big steps"-buy a house, another car, or have a baby- any time soon. So we committed and bought the tickets.

Then, I emailed my family to let them know our decision and situation. Gifts we really didn't expect got sent in to our church for our expenses. We ended up receiving a little over half of our anticipated summer expenses!

I'm so thankful for a generous and supportive church & family that is allowing us this opportunity! But we still have a fairly tight budget. With me working and making less for a month this summer, taking our vacation to New York, and the Euro/dollar exchange rate, we're going to have to make every penny count. I'll be blogging more about our trip budget when we get there.

Do you have any money-saving tips for European living? I'd love to hear them!


Anna said...

ryanair.com, my friend. and only pack a backpack to avoid extra baggage fees. i paid 50 euros roundtrip to paris, taxes and fees included.

Unknown said...

Try out seat61.com which will show you how to get around really cheaply. Have lots of fun.

Sara McCarty said...

That is awesome! I wish I had some money saving tips for you but I always tend to spend a fortune on trips! I'm terrible at shopping around! At least the food and wine will be good and cheap in Italy - those would be my big budget breakers!

Jessica Lynn said...

What a blessing to receive unexpected donations for your trip!

Will you have a kitchen where you're staying? If you do - take advantage of local markets and make your own food. It'll be so much cheaper than eating out and I'm sure it'll taste delicious!

Sarah- Little Ark Photography said...

take public transport, cook at home/don't eat out, find out if/when museums are free to the public, use cash and avoid cards whenever possible- because with cash you see how quickly you spend. you don't want a surprise credit card bill when you get back!

happy trails!

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