Life’s a Beach

Every year around this time my family and I take a week long vacation to the beach. For the past handful of years we’ve landed in Rehoboth, Delaware, but this time around we’re heading down south and trying something new: Charleston, South Carolina – opah!

The last time I was there was for a bachelor party, but something tells me this time might be a bit different ;) Like, having my parents there for one, and then a fridge full of breast milk instead of ice cold PBRs, haha… But hey, at least breasts are still involved!*

All this to say that I’ll be away for the next week or so chasing around little kids and ignoring “work” for a while. Which pretty much means checking in only 2 hours a day instead of 12 to make sure nothing’s exploding (and so I can go about soaking up the sun stress-free). I call this hustler’s peace of mind, and have to remind my mother of it every year as she scolds me for “not having fun” in the mornings. As if blogging isn’t fun??

Anywho, while I’m away you’ll have plenty of interesting articles to read while I’m gone ‘cuz your boy never leaves you hanging. In fact, some of you will be delighted to know there will be a fabulous new post live every day next week! Courtesy of some bad ass blogger friends of mine – so be sure to come back for those, a few are pretty fascinating :) (Just don’t kick me out when I come back, okay?)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into some financials!

Here’s what it’ll probably cost us to chill out this week:

  • Car rental: $410. We decided to go on another epic road trip to save some cash on the transportation (though not so much the sanity).  I’m sure it’ll take a lot less than the 14 hours there and back to St Louis last year, but it’ll still be a fun adventure in itself. And just like every time we rent a car, I enacted the Enterprise Trick: Reserving a car one class down than the one you really want, in hopes of scoring a free upgrade and saving a cool $100. I can’t tell you how many times this has worked for us in the past (at *least* the last four), so I’m praying it works yet again too. If not, it’s about to get real comfy in this bitch! Haha…
  • Gas: $200? This will depend on what size SUV we end up with tomorrow :)
  • House rental: $280/couple/family. It’s usually free every year as a gift from my parents, but now that we’re popping babies left and right we needed to upgrade and so we’re all chipping in to pay the difference of it. Small price to pay for a week long rental right on the sand :)
  • Food: $150? We take turns cooking dinner for each other which is nice, so with partial groceries and some snacks/beers/meals out, I reckon we’ll come away spending maybe $100-$200 on consumptions for the week. Maybe more if the wife and I can sneak out for a dinner or two without the kids for once, but not holding my breath, haha…
  • Day care: +$110. Yes, in a strange way we’re getting paid to go on vacation. But it’s actually not as awesome as it sounds. Even though we won’t be ANYWHERE NEAR day care this week and of course we WON’T BE USING THEM, we unfortunately still have to pay for it :( In order to “keep our spot reserved” and make sure their people are appropriately staffed. It’s pretty much as lame as it sounds. Thankfully they give you a break though and cut your rates in half while you’re gone. So we’ll save a Benjamin simply for leaving rather than staying.
  • Metal Detecting: +$2.13. I’m also going to break my old beach record and try and find 1 penny more than before in those beautiful yellow sands out there ;) I have no idea what the Charleston area has buried there, but after watching the entire season of Southern Charm (a riveting documentary on nobleman in the area a reality show) I’m hoping for some Rolexes.
  • Miscellaneous: $50. There’s always something that’ll come up during these trips (books? chotzkies? speeding ticket?) so I’m not even gonna try and pretend to ignore this. Just slap it on and let’s get to relaxing!

Total damage: $977.87. Whatcha think? For a week at the beach? Or, rather on the beach? I feel like that’s good… We’ve only been taking off one week a year anyways since having the kids, so I’m okay with letting go a bit and unwinding. I really don’t want to become one of those workaholics who never hangs out with their kids cuz they’re hustling so hard, so I’m doing my best to curb it down a bit and take a break. As hard as that is.

So that’s where I’ll be all week anyways. In and out of the water and coffee shops of C-Town! (Do you think the people there call it C-Town? I’m gonna try and make it a thing, haha…). We’ll actually be outside of the city a bit on some shore somewhere, but I’m hoping to swing by the downtown a few times and get my southern learn on… That place is so full of history. And ghost tours too!

What are you guys getting into this weekend? Think you’ll spend more or less than me? ;)

*For the record, I actually opt out of all strip joints during boys weekends… Something about paying to see stuff you can get for free just never sits right with me, haha… And what’s worse is you can’t even touch! It’s like a friend dropping off a Ferrari at your house and then *paying him* to take the keys away – no thanks. There are plenty of other ways to torture myself ;)

[Photo cred: mogollon_1]

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  1. Aimee August 8, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    I’ll be stacking firewood with my dad (free) and probably getting meals from my mom (bonus!) then working on things for the roadtrip van with my mom’s leftover fabric (my parents’ house is a gold mine!) then hitting the side hustle office for some quality time with Quickbooks (+$50). Hopefully lounging on Saturday! Enjoy your vacation!!!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 7:29 AM

      That sounds fun! Good quality time w/ the fam for you too :) Shoot me a pic of your road trip van once you’re done – sounds interesting!

  2. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel August 8, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    We’re heading up to Arkansas to visit my wife’s family. So $70 or so for gas and possibly $10 for snacks for my pregnant wife :)

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      She’s pregnant now??? AWESOME!!! You’re going to officially be A Man now, haha… And you’re gonna be a great daddy – so happy for you guys :)

      You’re gonna name him J$ right? Works for a girl too – “Jasmine Money” haha…

      1. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel August 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Thanks man! We’re stoked!!! Yeah J. Money is definitely on my secret short list. We’ll have to see if I can sneak it onto the birth certificate without my wife noticing ;)

  3. Brian @ Debt Discipline August 8, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    Thinking of hitting the beach too for a day to take my son surfing. Weather is supposed to be sweet this weekend. I spit my beverage out again when I read “But hey, at least breasts are still involved!” Enjoy your vacation!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      I believe my job is done here then :)

  4. jenn August 8, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    If you get out for dinner try SNOB, it is amazing! And great desserts are at (I think it is called) Kaminski’s.

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Hey thanks! Will try and hit them up!

  5. Jen @ Jen Spends August 8, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    I love South Carolina! My extended family like to rent a camp together on Pawley’s Island, and we all drive down from NY. I think it’s a pretty affordable destination, and the ocean is so gorgeous. Enjoy!

    We will be spending the weekend ripping up our kitchen walls and ceiling to have our bathroom plumbing replaced, which will ultimately cost around $1500. Ugh. It will be nice to have that one crossed off the list.

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      The joys of home ownership :)

  6. Catina August 8, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Too freakin’ funny!
    Let’s see, we are back-to-school shopping and my basketball junkie just hit the men’s sizes in shoes. I picture me giving my paycheck to Michael Jordan AS IF he needs it. :-)
    Have a super weekend J – maybe next time you all should soak up some amazing So Cal beach sun and we have a B.A.S. meet-up…kids and all!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      That would be fun!

      And funny you mention Jordans – I literally saw two different (adults) wearing some old school ones today, and actually caught myself saying – “Yeah, I’d pay $100 for those.” Haha… They were the mecca of all shoes growing up :) And I’m guessing still to this day?

      1. Catina August 9, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Yes, although there are SO many badass sneaker alternatives from a style perspective….Jordans say “I’ll see you on the court.” LOL…hhhmmmm WWJW (what would J wear?) I can see you in some KD All Stars >>>>>

        1. J. Money August 19, 2014 at 1:38 PM

          PS: I just picked up my very first pair of Jordans this week! $55 from one of those “slightly used” clothe stores, haha… What are the odds?

  7. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich August 8, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Ghost tours are my favorite!! And I’ve actually heard Charleston’s got some awesome ones! Hope it’s a terrific week – family beach vacations are the best.

  8. Kassandra August 8, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    I’ll be picking up my mom at the airport this afternoon for her 3 week visit! Yep, I am one of the few who can actually tolerate and enjoy my mom being around for extended periods of time and not go nuts. My DH is actually excited about her visiting so you know I got me a cool mom :) Spending less than $1K for your beach week is pretty darn good. Enjoy the family time J.

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      That’s so cool :) I don’t know how parents do it – letting their kids go when they grow up. I miss my boys after just a cple of hours away from them, haha… Maybe after 18 years you’re ready? :)

  9. Will @firstqfinance August 8, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    You think you’ll do any of those ghost tours in C-Town?? Could be cool!

  10. Julie G August 8, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    J$ I hope that you have a blast. Color me a little jealous because I am from South Carolina. For some crazy reason my husband drug me all the way to Boston :) and I miss the niceness of everyone!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      I guess he likes to be freezing :)

  11. John @ Wise Dollar August 8, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    I LOVE Charleston! Anywho, sounds like a great time and definitely nice on the financials of it. We’re getting ready for our own little beach vacation as we leave for San Diego in a little over a week for 3 weeks to see the in-laws. We’re driving from Omaha, so that should lead to some interesting times with our three little ones. Thankfully FinCon is the week after we get back. :)

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:30 PM

      HAH! Nice road trip indeed… I guess we’ll be having some beers together soon then, eh?

  12. zut August 8, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    I have a few friends that live in Chucktown (I think that’s the nickname you are looking for) and they love it. I was there once and it was a beautiful walking city. Lots of great food there too.

    1. Mary P August 8, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      I live in Charleston, and no, we don’t call it C-town. Chucktown is North Charleston, our working class neighbor just to the west of us (a great town in its own right). The ghost tours are great, and so are the walking tours and horse-drawn carriage tours. Lots of things to do and see, lots of history and wonderful food of all kinds. Be sure and hit the old marketplace downtown (on Market Street). If you drive downtown, I would recommend parking in one of the parking garages and taking the free Dash shuttle service that takes you all over the downtown area.

      1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        Thanks! And now I kinda like Chucktown a lot more than C-Town, haha…

  13. jestjack August 8, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    The Carolina have become a vacation destination more and more in this neck of the woods. I’ve about had it with Rehoboth myself…getting a bit pricey AND the parking meters will drive ya nuts AND they went up again.Don’t know if we’re getting away this year….too much going on….Enjoy the break.

  14. Free to Pursue August 8, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I’ll be running around this weekend and getting things ready so that I can fully enjoy my 2-week African Safari later this month. Woot woot!

    Seriously though, I never thought reference to the “Big Five” meant the budget (5 figures…OUCH!) as well as the Big 5 game (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros).

    My vacation expenses are usually in line with what you expect to spend.

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      Oh wow – now THAT is a vacation! You’re gonna have an incredible time!

  15. Hannah August 8, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I love Charleston! I went several times while I was in college, and I am hoping to go again soon. I did a ghost tour, and it was actually a blast.

    For a fun (and free) activity walk around the houses with the huge beautiful trees that are built for climbing. If you catch one of the owners out in their yard, you can strike up a conversation and then casually ask to climb their awesome tree. Also, since you like old stuff, you should definitely visit some of the tiny old cemeteries (This stuff is over by the Citadel).

    And take a stroller and walk across the New Cooper River Bridge.

    These restaurants are touristy, but I still recommend Hominy Grill and Market Street Saloon (maybe ask some locals for some better recommendations though).

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      Love cemeteries!! We hit up a few small ones too the other year – was so fascinating. Good idea with the bridge walking actually, if we do it I’ll snap a pic! :)

      1. jim August 9, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        If you’re checking out cemeteries, be sure to see when they lock them up (they do lock a lot of them up) – learned that the hard way in Savannah! I imagine it’s the same in NC.

  16. Mike Collins August 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    This weekend we’re having a backyard party for my daughter’s tenth birthday. Nothing major, just some family and friends over to enjoy some cold drinks, some ping-pong, and a dip in the pool. But in a few weeks we’re taking a road trip to the Outer Banks! It’s our first time there so hoping for a great trip!

    Enjoy your vaca!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      Tell your girl Uncle J$ says happy birthday. And she’s getting a nice budget as a present :)

  17. Debt Hater August 8, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    That seems like a pretty solid budget for a week down in South Carolina. I’ve never been there or even North Carolina but I would like to get to the beaches there eventually. I’ve been down to Ocean City Maryland twice this Summer (can’t beat the price for the “hotel” – thanks Grandma!) so I know Rehobeth well from heading down that way, it’s a really nice area. I’m not much of a shopper though, so when I was younger I used to dread going to the outlets in Rehobeth.

    I think you’ll enjoy South Carolina just as much though, and I’m going to go ahead and guess the water is much warmer down there as well. Enjoy your trip!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      Haha yeah, I used to love going to all the outlets there too but now I get more annoyed w/ the traffic trying to get to places because of all the shoppers :) I still go at least once while out there, but usually their “deals” are still pretty high on the money-meter. I swear they mark them all up, and then have a clearance to drop them back down to regular prices, haha…

  18. Mrs. Frugalwoods August 8, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    That sounds divine! Charleston is a beautiful place. We usually go to Seabrook Island (about 40 mins from Charleston) in the summers with my in-laws, but alas, not this year. If you have the chance, drive on over to see Angel Oak–it’s an incredible, 1,500(ish) year-old oak tree just outside of Charleston. Best part? No admission price! Have a great vacation!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      Perfect! Esp as my kids LOOOOVE trees!!!

  19. connieK August 8, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Have fun man; we will miss you and look forward to an update upon your return! As for me, I married a guy with FOUR kids, so I don’t typically use the word “vacation” …. much more like “family trip,” lol…………………………

  20. Becky @ RunFunDone August 8, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    I’m a former preschool teacher, and I have to say: I’ve NEVER heard of giving a discount because a kid is out. I know you’re whining that you still have to pay some, but I think you’re kinda lucky!

  21. Even Steven August 8, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Enjoy the beach and your money finding adventure, please try not to get confused for a 70 year old man with your metal detector! Good luck sir.

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      Luckily my mohawk helps with that :)

  22. Noonan August 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    This weekend, I’ll be as far away from any ocean beach as you can get: Kool Aid Days in Hastings, Nebraska. I’ll be trying to do 60 miles on the event’s big bike tour.

    Have fun at the beach!

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      Holy crap – the opposite of relaxing! haha… good for you, mr muscles.

  23. Darrell August 8, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.

    1. J. Money August 8, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      (one of the best movies ever)

  24. Amy August 8, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Enjoy!! I’ve never been to Charleston, but have heard great things.

    My in-laws are coming for a visit tomorrow. They always insist on paying for everything, so we’ll have lunch out, probably followed by ice cream – nice! Sunday, I’m hoping to get some garden chores done.

  25. Cait Flanders August 8, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Sounds like a reasonable budget to me! Enjoy your trip, friend! You definitely deserve the break… and the family time :)

  26. Cat@BudgetBlonde August 8, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Pretty impressed you are travelling with the kiddos. I can barely go to Target haha. I hope yall have a blast!

    1. J. Money August 9, 2014 at 12:04 AM

      My eldest son makes me chase him through the aisles of Target else he screams bloody murder – so I hear ya ;)

  27. Alaska 49 August 8, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Sold some useless junk today +$50

    Gas for a road trip to Anchorage to pick up my wife +$50


    1. J. Money August 9, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      yeah son!

  28. Kate @ Money Propeller August 8, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Actually, right now, we will be having our family reunion! Yey, after a year, we will be seeing my relatives again! Oh, btw, I’m a big fan of beach also and I love the sea water even if I don’t know how to swim “shame on me”. :)

  29. Marie @ My Personal Finance Journey August 9, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    We are going to the beach tomorrow! It’s been three months since we went to swimming that was last summer, I’m living in Asian country, btw. :)

  30. Michelle August 9, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    I love the thought of using a metal detector. I haven’t done that since I was very little. My sister and I spent hours searching our yard with that thing hoping to hear those annoying pings! Have fun!

    1. J. Money August 19, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      Thanks! I ended up finding squat, haha… still super fun though :)

  31. Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog August 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    That’s not bad for a week on the beach. Enjoy it! My family and I just got back from vacation yesterday. It was awesome!

  32. Thias @WealthHike August 10, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Have a great time! Charleston was on our short list when we were looking for our vacation this year, but we ended up settling on Sanibel Island.

    The wife and I tried stand up paddle boarding for the first time yesterday and now I can barely move my body today! Maybe I can use it as an excuse to skip out on landscapping work and drink those PBRs you had to leave behind ;)

    1. J. Money August 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Aww yeahh!!!!

  33. Kayla @ Red Debted Stepchild August 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    This weekend I am just working, working and working some more. I can’t wait to get my part-time job paycheck next week!

  34. Nichelle @ How To Save Money August 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    I love going to beaches! A week at the beach with the family – your budget is pretty nice and reasonable. Enjoy your family getaway!

  35. Dominic August 16, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    A grand for the family for a week vacation isn’t bad at all. Hell, I’m paying $1100 to visit my girlfriend in Italy…..and that’s just for the flight.

    Hope you had a great time J. Money!


    1. J. Money August 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Luckily you get something else while there though too (bow chicka wha wha!)

  36. Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds August 18, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    The daycare thing always gets me. I’ve never understood the need to pay while you’re gone or not using it. We went to the beach for the weekend (Outer Banks) and it cost around what you’re paying so you got a really good deal!