I need some really good budget ideas

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as to how to save some money fast! We want to take a trip to Texas at the beginning of April. My husband’s family is there and since his mom died last June he’s really wanting to make a point to see his other family more often. The problem is we live in WA (the state) and for the four of us to fly, it’s close to $2100. Driving isn’t really an option (we did that in June when his mom passed away) and looking back at the totals of gas, hotels, food, etc…it was $1800. I know that’s a $300 savings if we drive, but the mountain passes will be bad still and we don’t have as much time for vacation as he did when his mom passed away. It’s took us 3 days to drive there and 3 days to get home.

We don’t want to use our credit card, since our course we are working hard to get out of debt.

So what are ways you have saved money? I need some new tricks of the trade so to speak.

I have usually been a frugal one

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Right now, I am mid-divorce, and have one16 year old son left at home. I have also taken in a frugal (and fabulously sweet) friend of mine from college. So, in my late 40’s, I am restarting with a household of 3 people. Luckily, we are all reasonably frugal. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that when I dated this fellow back in college, that we never went on a paid date.
I was a single mom, working my way through college, thus, I was broke. My son spent every hour that I was in school, and at work, at the sitter’s, so our dates were always just my fellow coming over to my home. Now, 20+ years later, he’s living with me, and we eat together. Oft times, the three of us cook together. We, all three, do volunteer work together. My fellow goes on some of my contracting gigs with me. We have gone to his parent’s house a couple of times. This weekend, we went to a local ice-fest and looked at the sculptures, all for free.
We had gone to half-price day at the discount theater during the summer, before he moved in. Now, it’s library DVD ‘s. We tossed in some music CD’s, and did my clumsy version of slow dancing. (An added plus to staying home, no witnesses to my ‘dancing’!) I can’t imagine how throwing money at a date would have improved our evening. My fellow, and my son are willing to eat cheaper foods. My soon to be ex, and the other juvenile son, who is with the soon to be ex, are more prone to being spoiled brats.

You can’t imagine it?

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I still can’t imagine it! It has been more than 24 hours and and I still don’t know how we got there. Well, really, I do but it doesn’t seem to be possible. I knew we had it split between an IRA for each of us and then the joint account (non retirement) but I had never sat down and totaled up the 3 accounts. We have been fortunate to be able to max out an IRA for each of us the last few years. With this account we will be moving, we will finish maxing out 2012 and be able to do most, if not all, of 2013. I told dh I just wanted to put it where we are getting the best return right now. He said that we would do IRAs first to take advantage of the tax advantage, even though later in the year we could still do the IRAs.
Jane, twelve or thirteen years ago I never imagined we would be where we are today. Do NOT give up hope. You are not stuck forever where you are now. Keep plowing forward (no pun intended! LOL) and you’ll make it past BS2. If you are like me it is hard to see your progress when you are still in the trenches but as long as you are clawing and scratching your way forward, you will make your goals.