Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vacation for {Almost} Free

Last week we spent Wednesday through Saturday in the BEAUTIFUL Sun Valley, IDAHO.
We loved swimming, biking, shopping, dining, lodging, feeding animals, bowling, going to the movies and spending time together as a family.

The best part though of this vacation may just be that we will write off all but a few bucks.

Jake has to take continuing education courses to maintain his attorney's license each year.
The conference in Sun Valley gets him 3/4 the way done.
He has to go to class until noon, but then it is all vacation.

Because he must do continuing education for his profession- many of the costs and fees with this trip we can write off.

Lodging- you can write off as long as it is a single rate, and that is indicated on your records.
in our case- we had a studio suite condo. It would have been the same price whether Jake was there alone or not. We can write off this entire cost. Our Studio condo was very cozy and nice.

Travel- The government will reimurbse you about .50 cents per mile for gas and maintaince.
We traveled just under 700 miles there and back. This is a $350 write off. We actually only spent about $250 in gas driving there and back. While there we rarely got in our car because it is such a bike friendly town.

Food- You can write off 50% of your meal cost while traveling for work purposes. We brought groceries with us for breakfast and lunch. The conference provided a free dinner buffet for the entire family one night- which meant we had to eat out three other nights. The kids usually split a meal plus my meal was only about $13 a day. That means so far in our vacation we can't write off $39 spent. It was enjoyable to eat out in the evenings- though we could have saved more money and cooked in our complete kitchen in our condo. Sun Valley and Ketchum, ID don't allow chains, so every place was quaint and new to us.

Swimming- FREE. We swam everyday with the kids. They loved it, and it was just the resort pools included in our lodging.

Ice Skating-FREE. Kate and Jake went ice skating one evening. It was also free at the resort. Good thing because although she enjoyed it- it took them 10 minutes to get around the rink one time.

Movie- FREE. Jake took Kate to a movie one night. It was free, and activity put on by the resort and the conference. They gave out free popcorn and candy too.

Biking- FREE. Sun Valley, ID is the most bike friendly town in the United States... LITERALLY.
We enjoyed biking on the miles and miles of trails, into town, and all around.

Feeding Animals- $1.50. There were lots of animals, horses, and swans located on the resort property. Our kids loved feeding them some carrots and leftover bread.

Bowling- $11.00. We choose to go bowling one evening together. It was $11.00 for three of us including shoes.

Boating -$11.00. We choose to take a paddle boat ride around the lake together. It was just something fun to do, and we hardly felt bad spending $11 for a 30 minute ride when we had spent so little on our family summer vacation.

Lets add that up.

Food- $39
Bowling- $11
Boating $11
Biking- FREE
Swimming- FREE
Animals- $1.50
Movie- FREE
Ice Skating- FREE

Four Day Vacation for Family of Four = $62.50!!!

of course writing something off doesn't exactly mean it doesn't cost you anything. Most professional tax accountants will tell you writing something off reduces the cost to you by between 33% and 50%. But being self-employed we love writing things off and consider a write-off as something almost free.

Looking for ways to cut costs on your family summer vacation?
Learn more about what you may be able to write-off here. and here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post! I really liked the individual breakdown. My parents were in the Nauvoo pageant last year and told me they planned to write off expenses as charitable giving since it was a service trip. That was one of the best family experiences we've had so I highly recommend it.


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