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Friday, September 9

Frugal Las Vegas - Actual Spending v. Budget

I set a fairly tight budget for our 9 day vacation to Las Vegas and Phoenix. The goal was to spend under $2,000 for the two of us.

Here is how I did:

  • Round Trip airfare : $266.40 actual v. $266.40 budget
  • Parking at Airport : $30 actual (gave our friend gas money) v. $0 budget (over by $30)
  • Baggage fees : $0 actual v. $0 budget
  • Rental Car for 9 days : $214 actual v. $364 budget (under by $150)
  • Gasoline : $122 actual v. $100 budget (over by $22)
  • 3.5 star Hotel off the Strip : 4 nights FREE
  • 5 star Resort in Phoenix : 2 nights for $185
  • 2.5 star Boutique Hotel in Vegas : 3 nights for $82 (over by $29 - pesky resort fee)
  • Food : $153 actual v. $180 budget (under by $27)
  • Souvenirs : $0 actual v. $20 budget (didn't bring home any clutter)
  • Other Uncategorized : $28 v. $332 (under by $304)
  • Gambling expenses: $270 v. $500 (under by $230)

Budget : $2,000
Actual: $1,350

Results: Under Budget by $650


  • Even though I had selected a Ford Mustang Convertible, we were given a dreadful Chrysler Sebring. After 7 days of problems we traded it in for a sexy Chevrolet Camaro.
  • I did not budget for the resort fee for our 2.5 star hotel. Guess it slipped my mind. I hate resort fees (especially when they cost 50% of the room charge) but at least it included wireless Internet.
  • Uncategorized: $7 admission to Red Rock Canyon, $2 tip for valet (used once), $19 for three movies (once at first run theater and twice at dollar movies)
  • Personally, I am most impressed by our food budget. We averaged $8.50 each per day. No, we didn't eat fast food for every meal. Our meals included smoked salmon, lobster roll, freshly prepared sushi, gourmet burgers, and more. I completed one mystery shop in Phoenix (all but $15 of the $75 tab was covered). I also received several free meals and only spent a few dollars each time for the tip. We only ate twice a day most days since we (over)ate at several buffets. Lastly, I bought two Groupons in Vegas and saved half off those meals.

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