Two Simple Rules for Your Sub Ball/Navy Ball Dress

Dress shopping for Sub Ball was so stressful and, when I look back on it, it really didn’t have to be. I spent hours looking through my military girlfriend Facebook groups for advice and I signed out feeling more confused than when I first logged in.

Continue reading Two Simple Rules for Your Sub Ball/Navy Ball Dress

Advertisements

Simple Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

The smoothie bowl craze has been a thing for a while now and for the longest time they just didn’t look appealing to me. I didn’t think there was much of a difference between drinking a smoothie and putting it in a bowl to eat with toppings and a spoon…

Enter my recent trip to Oahu, Hawaii where I had my first smoothie bowl and became obsessed. After coming home I went on a mission to try and reproduce what I had in Hawaii by trying other shops that sell bowls and experimenting at home. And so far, this recipe has turned out to be my staple.

Continue reading Simple Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Top Eight Things To Do In Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is like no where I have ever been before. So much history, culture and a completely different atmosphere gave me a great life experience that I don’t think I could ever get anywhere else. It’s a place that you could look at pictures of all day but there is nothing like the actual experience of being in Oahu.

I have visited Oahu on two separate occasions and compiled a list of my favorite things I saw and did…

Continue reading Top Eight Things To Do In Oahu, Hawaii

Hawaii Travels and Deployment Goodbyes

It would be an understatement to tell you that Hawaii was beautiful. And the time that I spent with Taylor and his family was just as beautiful if not more.

I went to Hawaii to visit T and to say my last goodbyes before he goes under the sea for a long period of time, the longest period of time that we will be apart thus far in our relationship.

Continue reading Hawaii Travels and Deployment Goodbyes

How to Travel to Hawaii for Cheap

Hawaii packing

I never really thought I’d have the chance to go to Hawaii. I know it’s beautiful but my dad hates airplanes, family doesn’t travel much to begin with and it’s expensive so I never really had the urge or the means to go.

Enter Taylor, my boyfriend who chose Hawaii as his first pick of places to be stationed.

He told me a gallon of milk was about ten bucks a pop and I freaked out because if a stupid gallon of milk is that expensive how in the hell am I ever going to afford food, a plane ticket and a place to stay?

Some intense research and internet sleuthing taught me otherwise, however…

Continue reading How to Travel to Hawaii for Cheap

How to Budget Your Travels into Your Monthly Expenses

 

For two years now, Charleston has become my second home and it wasn’t too traumatic on my wallet most of the time. My airline tickets averaged around $300 and if I couldn’t do that I could drive.

The next stop on our military journey, however, is going to be Hawaii, a trip that will most definitely not be too kind on the old wallet. But I have recently put in place some tips and tricks that will get me, stress-free, to Hawaii and back… I might even be able to afford a nice dinner while I’m there.

The key to making all of this easier on you is to answer four questions:

How much will your trip cost?

The first step is knowing how much your trip will cost for the big stuff such as hotels, rental cars, gas, plane tickets, food, souvenirs, etc. Keep in mind that it is best to over guess prices than under guess. Also, keep in mind that many places, if you are married to the military, you can get discounts! You can make a rough calculation based on these prices…

Food: I know that, personally, I spend about $20 on each meal when I go on vacation. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it is less depending on where I am going and what meal it is. All in all, I give food about $60 per day. Take that and multiple it by how many days you are staying.

Plane tickets: A round-trip ticket to Hawaii is about $850 give or take. Look around on Google or there is a really helpful app called Hopper that will tell you pricing and pick a median price that sounds good to you.

Gas: If driving is your choice of transportation, find out how many miles it will be and find out what your car’s miles per gallon rate is. Divide the miles it will take to get there by the miles per gallon of your car. Then find the average gas prices in your area and multiply it by the numbers you just figured.

EX:) It used to take me 923 miles to drive to Charleston, SC. My little Honda Civic drives about 33 miles per gallon.

923/33= 27.97 gallons of gas to get to Charleston

I usually round up just to be safe so we’ll say about 30 gallons of gas. (I tend to get lost a lot.)

The gas prices around Chicago are about $2.20. So, 2.20×30=66. It will cost me about $66 in gas to get one way to Charleston.

Also, keep in mind that you will be driving around while you are there. Take that into account when finding out how much you will spend in gas.

Rental Cars: This one you should do a bit of research on. This all depends on the company, the type of car, the size of the car and how many days you will be renting it for. Β This will require a bit of your own research to figure out, however, USA Today wrote a good article to see what the averages are.

Hotels: Again, this will require some research on your part. Based on where you stay and how nice you’d like your hotel or motel to be, these prices can range greatly.

Ex:) Whenever I go to visit my boyfriend, I already have my transportation and sleeping accommodations taken care of so really that just leaves my plane ticket, food and souvenirs and money for the things we want to do.

Plane ticket: I averaged this out to $850.

Food: I will probably spend about a week in Hawaii so my food will come out to about $420.

Souvenirs/things to do: I gave myself a budget of about $75 a day for things I want to buy and things we want to do. This adds up to about $525.

 

All in all, my trip to Hawaii will cost me $1,795.

When are you planning to go?

Whew! You’ve now have the first and maybe hardest step done! Next comes planning when you’d like to go. Pick a month and calculate how many months that is from today.

Ex:) I would like to go to Hawaii at the beginning of September. That is about 3 months from now.

budgeting travels 1

How much money do you make a month?

Take your paychecks and add them together! If you are a bartender, waitress or anyone who has varying paychecks a month, figure out an average. About how much a day or a week do you normally bring home in tips.

Ex:) One of my paychecks a month is about $800 and the other one is about $900. I also freelance a little so I added in about an extra $50.

Turns out to be about $1,750.

After paying your bills, how much “fun” money do you have to spend?

I have a whiteboard next to my desk that lists out all of my bills that I have to pay, when they come out and have a space for me to check mark them when they have been paid. I know, I know, I’m a really big dork.

But it helps! Write out all your expenses, take what you make monthly and subtract them.

EX:) I make about $1,750 and lets say, for the sake of this post, that my bills come out to be $1,000 a month. That leaves me $750 to spend on whatever my little heart desires.

Put it all together!

Take how much your trip will cost and divide that by how much time you have between now and then. Take that number and look to see if you can feasibly afford to put away that much every month. If not, you may need to think about moving your trip a little farther back.

EX:) My trip is going to cost $1,795 and I have three months to save up.

$1,795/3= $598 per month that I need to save.

We already figured out that I have $750 to spend on what I would like every month. With that being said, if I put away about $600 a month toward my trip I would still have about $150 dollars to spend on going out with friends, new clothes, etc. which is fine for me.

 

Once you have figured out a good monthly budget for you, now it is time to start saving! Once a month, place that money into a savings account, under your bed, a piggy bank, and save up for that trip you’ve been dying to take.

Life is way too short to not travel. Don’t let your financial status stop you.

 

 

When Your SO Is Stationed Somewhere You Don’t Want

I was about to start teaching the first kickboxing class of the night when I got a text from Taylor saying, “Guess what?!”. I replied back with the usual, “What??!!” and waited for a response.

I walked up to the small black ledge in the corner of our studio where today’s workout is posted. I placed my phone on the ledge covered with old coffee stains and went to scan over the day’s work out when my phone buzzed.

I grabbed it and looked really quick, curious as to what Taylor was excited about…and then my heart dropped into my stomach.

Not the good kind of dropped either. Like the I’m going to puke kind. The “I really wish I had a time machine so I can go back and choose not to read that” kind.

I placed, or rather tossed my phone, back down on the old coffee stains and turned on to the mat and tried to be as happy and pleasant as I could for the members trying to take class. I didn’t think about what I read.

Continue reading When Your SO Is Stationed Somewhere You Don’t Want