How I Save Money During My Wife’s Solo Holidays

How I Save Money During My Wife's Solo Holidays - picture of father playing cars with son

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Over the last few years, Holly has really gotten into travel writing. Personally, I think it’s great! We love to travel, so it gives us an excuse to visit several places every year. It also helps to keep us from going back to the same places over and over again. I mean, it’s a really tough job, but somebody has to do it, right?!? *cue the violins*

You may have read her work either here or around the web at other travel sites, like Frugal Travel Guy or U.S. News & World Report Travel. Well, now that she has hit the big time, she receives the occasional invite to press tours at certain resorts and attractions. That’s great for her, but unfortunately spouses are rarely invited. So, while she is jetsetting around the world on solo holidays, I’m stuck tending to the homestead…alone.

Seriously, I’m totally travel deprived. I mean, it’s not like I just got back from Italy…or London…or Las Vegas…or Jamaica…or St. Maarten or anything. Sheesh, talk about getting the short end of the stick!

But alas, as the husband of a “D-List” internet celebrity, I’m forced to stand in the shadows and watch. Worse yet, I actually have to keep everything running smoothly back home! Of course, when you’re alone, it’s easy to take the easy route and blow the entire budget. But, I’m getting pretty good at preparing for her solo travels. Here are a few things I do before she leaves which make it easier for me to stick to the financial plan, therefore saving money.

Double Check the Budget

Now that Holly is traveling alone more, we need to be very careful with our budget back home. Even though these solo holidays are typically paid for, there are plenty of expenses that she can incur on the road…and expensive shortcuts I’m tempted to take at home. However, if we want to continue getting ahead, we’ve got to stick to our monthly plan even when she is gone. That’s why I always check in with the budget before she goes. I need to make sure I’m not missing anything. I don’t want any extra expenditures popping up that we haven’t planned for. I also check in with our expense tracking software to make sure I stay “on budget” all month long. Just because Mama is traveling solo doesn’t mean that I can let it all go at home!

Stock Up on Groceries

Holly would have you believe that I don’t have the first clue about cooking. I’ve pretty much got her fooled on that one. It isn’t that I don’t know how to cook. It’s that I don’t like it. Frankly, I’m not a very patient cook nor am I very creative. That makes it especially tempting to eat out the entire time she is gone. If there isn’t anything to eat in the house, it’s soooooo easy to take the easy route and head to Little Caesar’s. But, those extra expenses can add up quickly. That’s why I’ve learned that it’s important for me to stock up on groceries before she takes off. Since I’m already flying solo, I know I’m not going to want to take the kids to the store with me. But, if I have enough to eat stockpiled in the pantry, I can easily whip up some dinner without too much stress or busting the budget.

Check out the $5 Meal Plan to Save Money On Groceries

Make Sure the Bills are Paid

In addition to checking the budget, I always want to make sure that all of our bills are paid before she leaves. When you’re married, communicating about money is key. We don’t want to miss any payments or incur any late fees because we failed to communicate. So, before she takes off on her solo holidays, we always go over the bill situation to make sure everything has been covered.

Get Ahead on Work

If I know that Holly is going to be heading out of town, I always try to get a little bit ahead on my work before she goes. When one parent is gone, that means all the responsibility falls to the other parent. If you have kids, you know how much time and energy they can require. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to have a lot of alone time with the girls, but it can also be draining. So, if I can get ahead on my work, that’s just one less thing I have to worry about it while she is gone.

Holding Down the Fort

So, Holly is in Puerto Rico right now, and I am missing her a lot. But, if you’re reading this babe, everything is covered. I got this. Have a great time, and we can’t wait for you to get home!

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  1. Have you ever seen the movie “” It can be a lot of work when your spouse is away, but I always enjoy the extra time with the kids. Good luck Greg.

    1. I have seen that movie. Michael Keaton…before Batman, I think. Thanks for the well wishes 🙂

  2. I highly suggest minimalist recipes if you hate to cook. I follow two blogs: the stone soup blog and minimalist baker (they cook mostly vegan but you can throw in meat on the side if you want, which is what I do, I’m definitely not a vegan). Both blogs focus on minimalist recipes.

  3. Ha, oh woe is you! But yeah, having one spouse away (especially when there are multiple kids to wrangle) could definitely suck.

    Tim actually insists that he should go to go somewhere when I’m off at FinCon. Weirdly, it can be cheaper to put him on a plane than to stay at home. We do a free plane ticket and rental car, and he stays with friends. Who also tend to feed him. Compare that to him sitting around at home, bored and looking for ways to entertain himself. It can get ugly that way.

    1. I know! Woe is me, right!?! Eh, it’s Friday, so I thought a little levity was in order. 🙂

      That is funny that Tim can’t stay home alone. It’s also smart that you realize the potential for a financial meltdown while you’re gone 😉

  4. I second Brian’s Mr. Mom comment. 🙂 That being said, I can completely relate Greg – Nicole was out of town last month and she’ll be gone twice next month. I love she gets the opportunity, but there are definitely things you should do beforehand. The stockpiled pantry is a must in my opinion as going to the store with 3 kiddos on your own leads to a bit of insanity – but, that being said, I love the extra time with the kids.

    1. I love the extra time with the kids too. We actually have a lot of fun while she’s gone. We made a run to the grocery store on Wednesday afternoon, so I’m good to go 🙂

  5. I think it’s easier for Moms if Dad is out of town but it still throws off the routine. I usually end up making something we can eat and have leftovers so we don’t have to cook or shop. On the rare occasion I need to be gone, we usually get the mother in law to come help!

    1. Nice! My MIL is also willing to help. In fact, I have to show one of our rentals today, so she is going to help with the kids for a bit. She rocks!

  6. I just saw Holly’s post on Facebook and was wondering if you got to join her. Bummer that you can’t, but if you could you would probably lose all of the free travel perks in babysitting for the girls. My hubby is a way better single parent when I’m gone then I am when he’s going mainly because of the cooking thing. I really only have a handful of meals that I can do and do well with the tight timeframe I have to cook, so I am guilty of ordering in more when hubby’s away. Thankfully for our budget, it’s not often. 🙂

    1. I much prefer to order out than cook…and I know that is a bad thing. I try to keep it to a minimum 🙂

  7. Looks like your well-kept secret about being a chef is a secret no more!! It certainly is tempting to eat out, especially when there are plenty of options near your home. You could so a bit of research on low budget and low time home cooked meals so you spend the least amount of time in the kitchen, and you know what cooks quickest? Boiled eggs. They\’re my backup plans on a lot of days.

  8. My mom can count on my dad when she’s away for business. And, my Dad is just like you Greg. He knows what to do from paying bills to stocking up on groceries. You’re a great man, Greg. Congrats and good luck.

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