The entry you’ve been waiting for!
I pieced together my spending paper trail from all my credit card and bank statements, and this is how I spent my money in France:
Whether or not that was too extravagant depends on how you look at it. I went into the trip without a budget or spending plan, which probably would have made a tremendous difference in the end cost, but ultimately I’m not bothered by the total. I’m really glad I didn’t backpack it, staying at hostels or couch-surfing (seriously. I met 2 guys that we’re doing that). My apartment was incredible, as was all the food, and so are the clothes I came home with, so I’m going to say the experience was worth every penny.
So some of the above is paid for, but the majority is not. I’ve thought about doing a huge transfer from my savings and wiping out the remaining balance, but making such a dent in my bank account makes me a little sick so instead I’m going to stick with my original plan and pay what I owe over the next 2-3 months (so it will be gone right before I have to start making payments on my student loans!)… so for the first time in nearly a year I’m carrying consumer debt! Yikes!
I did the math, and it makes sense monetarily, too. I transferred what I owe to my line of credit which has only a 6.75% interest rate which is lower than what a good majority of my investments have returned over the past year, so my money is better kept in savings & investments at this point. If this balance was on my credit card at 19.95% or whatever, heck yes I’d kill it in about five seconds flat, but thankfully I’m not in that position.
Just so we’re clear I’m totally 100% an advocate of saving up first for a big trip, not just randomly deciding to spend nearly $6,000 with very little thought or planning. What I did was insane, and I don’t recommend it. The fact that I have to make $800 debt payments for the next three months SUCKS but… well, I spent a month in Paris, and that was pretty damn cool.