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Travel budget?

January 24th, 2010 at 07:03 am

So the drive home wasn't bad. Dense fog and rain through southern MN and nothing but light rain and a lot of wind in IA. Made it in 6 hours, which is the average.

So I'm trying to figure out how we're going to cover at home expenses and medical travel costs (food, hotels, gas) while we're gone for DW's drug treatment. Right now we have enough in savings to just pull a bit out for a weeks long trip, and then get it reimbursed by my job when I get back. DW's drug treatment is 4 months long. We go to Mayo for 3 weeks, then home a week, and do that 4 times. Plus another month for the transplant and recovery. So we need to be able to cover 3 weeks worth of expenses there at a shot, then get it reimbursed by my job. We would basically be using the same money each time, because it would be reimbursed by the time we went back to Minnesota.

The hotel is $580 for a month, or $225 for a week, so it makes more sense to just get the a hotel room for a month at a time. It has a kitchenette in it - microwave, stove top, and small fridge. So we could reasonably go to the store and get groceries and cook as opposed to getting fat eating out all the time. So I would say our food budget wouldn't change much - maybe be $350 a month instead of $250. Plus gas is about 25 cents a gallon higher there, and we use about 40 miles a day there round trip on the hotel. So that raises our gas budget from $150 a month to about $250 when you figure in the $80 in gas it takes to get there and back. Total monthly costs go up by roughly $780 a month.

We currently pay $150 a month on our maid service - yes I know, it's a lot for something we can do ourselves. You have no idea how much it has improved our marriage to have it, because DW and I would fight all weekend when we did the house cleaning. It's money well spent, IMO. Anyway, we will cancel that for the time we are in Mayo, so for 5 months.

That makes our cost increase go from $780ish to about $530ish. We have that in savings without touching the EF. So would it be a good idea to just pull out $750 from savings and use that, giving us $220 in wiggle room? Then have it reimbursed each month, and keep using it until the transplant is done, at which time it will be reimbursed into the savings account.

The other thing is that my jobs mileage rate is 50 cents a mile. So I get $370 a trip for gas. They don't cover the gas while we're there - they cover the travel mileage to get there and back. So if we spend $250 a month in gas, and get everything else reimbursed, we come out ahead $120 a month. Over the course of 5 months of that, and 5 trips, we come out ahead $600. So really, we could be putting that extra $120 a month back into the savings account each month.

Does this make sense to everybody as far as a financial plan to cover the expenses of the trip? We could do this without changing any of our budget each month - just by taking $750 out of simple savings and having it reimbursed.

The alternative is to get a pay advance, which completely screws up the budget. I get my bonus in May, which is half way through the drug treatment. I just don't want to turn down the pay advance and go off half cocked in doing so. I think I've looked at everything here, but I'm just not certain. We have $2000 in our EF right now and are putting an extra $835 into it each month. We could just stop doing that instead of getting a pay advance if need be.

Am I overlooking anything?

3 Responses to “Travel budget?”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I agree: don't get a pay advance. I think you have a good plan. It is very possible additional expenses will come up simply because you are not at home during the treatment, but they money you are putting in the EF can easily be used for those expenses that could come up.

  2. LuxLiving Says:

    Are there any Ronald McDonald houses nearby?

  3. M E 2 Says:

    I have always been under the impression that Ronald McDonald houses are for the parents/families of sick children ONLY.

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