Trip to Iceland: Week Eight of the 52 Week Savings Challenge

aurora borealis Iceland

I may get some blow back for claiming that this week I was able to save the highest amount still on the sheet ($50) as part of the 52 week savings challenge. I received a last-minute invitation to visit Iceland with the vast majority of the costs already paid for. While the trip ended up costing me about $700, this is a small fraction of what it would have cost me had I paid regular prices, or even if I had tried to make the trip on a frugal budget. Due to the great amount of savings, I feel I hit the $50 savings mark for the challenge by going on the trip.

Under normal circumstances, an unanticipated trip that I hadn’t planned for would be considered an extra expense. Here is my reasoning why I believe that this was actually a savings, and you are free to debate me in the comments if you don’t agree. While this trip was unexpected and the $700 had not been budgeted, going to see the northern lights has been a top priority on my bucket list. It’s something that I would have done in the next five years, and under normal circumstances, it would have cost me several thousand dollars to do so. A little bit of luck, having a very flexible schedule, and having friends that know I can usually travel at a moments’ notice allowed me to score this great deal. Since I would have paid several thousand dollars for this trip at some point, being able to make it for only $700 was a huge savings.

Here are just a few of the many sights I was able to see:

The Aurora Borealis (the top photo is also me under the northern lights)

red and green northern lights Iceland

Geysir (where we get the word geyser)

Geysir Iceland spouting


blue ice glacier

iceland glacier

Black sand beaches

black sand beach Iceland


Iceland seals

Ice blocks on the beach

icebergs on beach

ice on beach


Gullfoss waterfall Icelend

Iceland waterfall

rainbow waterfall Iceland

As the photos show, it was a pretty amazing week that was well worth the money spent. I usually try to make at least one trip a year to cross off something on my bucket list, so that is taken care of for this year. Sometimes being able to quickly react to an opportunity that would otherwise cost a lot more, even when it’s not planned, can end up saving you quite a bit of money if it is something that you would have definitely done at some point in the future.

I think that’s what makes this trip a savings opportunity rather than an expense. Had it been to Mexico, I would have considered it an extra expense even at the discounted price. That’s because I’ve been there many times before and had no plans to go there in the near future. Since this was something that I wanted to do, and it was a top priority for me in the near future, it became a savings opportunity.

Total Saved Week 8: $50.00

$1 $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 $10
$11 $12 $13 $14 $15 $16 $17 $18 $19 $20
$21 $22 $23 $24 $25 $26 $27 $28 $29 $30
$31 $32 $33 $34 $35 $36 $37 $38 $39 $40
$41 $42 $43 $44 $45 $46 $47 $48 $49 $50
$51 $52

For those participating in their own 52 week challenge, how did you do for your week eight?

The 2014 Challenge
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six
Week Seven

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One Response to Trip to Iceland: Week Eight of the 52 Week Savings Challenge

  1. Jo says:

    I definitely think that you made a coup regarding this trip. Since it was on your bucket list, the unexpected pleasure of an opportunity might have come prematurely (the trip wasn’t funded), it was indeed wise to “strike while the iron was hot.”

    I have witnessed only once the beauty of the aurora borealis. It was long, long ago when I was in my early 20s. I honestly didn’t know what was occurring initially. I found out shortly, but the memory of that beautiful sight has remained with me for the past 30 years. Now that I am aware how the lights happen on a scientific scale, I want to see them again.

    IMO, I don’t think you need explain your actions in such detail in the hopes of being redeemed for having done something without saving for it first. Strike this off your bucket list and focus on the next item. Life is too short for guilt trips. Well done.

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