by Vicky Monroe
My partner and I are still in Boston visiting family for a few more days. Massachusetts is beautiful this time of year, but coming back has definitely reminded me why we left. Everything here is so much more expensive!
Yesterday my dad treated the family to juice, smoothies, and a snack after a long walk. For just two smoothies, a juice, and a sandwich, the total was $50. That order would’ve cost less than half where we live in Michigan, so I had sticker shock to say the least! Inflation has really hit this area hard.
I went with my parents on a grocery run and the total was $180. In the Midwest, that same cart of groceries would’ve cost under $100. According to my family, housing and utility costs in the Boston area have also skyrocketed. After visiting Massachusetts, I’m even more grateful for the low cost of living we enjoy in Michigan and won’t take it for granted.
Taylor Swift Concert
Speaking of inflation, concert tickets have also become so expensive in the past few years. The Taylor Swift tickets I bought on the resale market for $800 (ouch, typing that out still hurts!) a few months ago finally got delivered to us this week.
I was nervous I wouldn’t get them because I’ve had issues with resale tickets in the past. I traveled to Las Vegas to see a Sara Bareilles concert with my sister a few years ago and our tickets never got sent to us. But luckily everything worked out with the Eras Tour and my sister and I will definitely get to go.
However, for a few days we contemplated putting our tickets back on the resale market. We found out that the going rate for tickets in our section is about $1,500 each, so we could make a nice profit if we resold them. But in the end, we decided that the memories from this concert will be priceless, so we’re going to keep them.
Saving Money on Vacation
From the pictures I’ve seen on social media, it seems like everyone dresses up for the Eras Tour. Fans usually pay homage to one of Taylor’s albums with their outfits. My sister picked Lover, which has a dreamy pink and purple cloud aesthetic. I opted for Reputation and am wearing all black and doing snake face makeup to match the album’s snake motif.
Instead of going to the mall to get our outfits, we headed to the thrift store today to save money and got some really cute, affordable pieces. We’re also planning to tailgate before the concert with some food and drinks from home so we don’t have to buy overpriced stadium food.
Some other ways we’ve been saving money on this leg of our vacation is by enjoying family dinners at home instead of going out to eat. So far we’ve had steak on the grill (with portobello mushrooms for me since I’m vegetarian), burgers, and a vodka tortellini dish.
My spouse and I also met up with a friend and brought a picnic instead of eating out. We’re hanging out with them again later in the week and going to their apartment for dinner instead of a restaurant to save money. For pocket money on this trip, we used interest we earned from our high-yield savings account, so we’re not racking up any kind of credit card balance.
My Big Casino Win
I’ll also be able to cover some of our vacation costs with my big gambling win. My mom likes to visit the local casino a few times a year and wanted to go while I was here. I usually don’t gamble, but went to spend quality time with my mom. I made sure to set a strict budget and only planned to gamble $25.
Luckily I hit the jackpot after spending just $10 and came away with a $190 profit! I didn’t press my luck and continue to gamble, which is how my mom ended up losing money. I’m using my win to help pay for gas and food on our drive home.
I’m curious to know how BAD readers feel about gambling. Do you ever buy lottery tickets and gamble, or do you view it as a slippery slope that can lead to financial loss and debt? Let me know in the comments.
Keeping Costs Down on Our Road Trip
Jumping into Summer Vacation Plans
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.