Sunday, June 22, 2014

To Tour, Or Not To Tour...A Very Good Question

Whether 'til nobler to keep my savings account intact...

In May, it was announced at Sac Choral that a tentative tour for the summer of 2015 is in the planning stages. I missed the last one, to Italy. When Jim, our president, told us the destination for next summer, I'm not ashamed to admit that little ecstatic moans were coming from the front row of the soprano section.

Destination: Paris and London.

Of course, I've been to both of these grand cities, but here's the draw: I'd get to sing in Notre Dame. And the American Cemetery in London. And St. Paul's Cathedral. It would be a singer's dream, and also my first trip back to dear England in ten years. Ten years!!

I've been slowly, steadily beefing up my savings account over the last couple of years, by adding money every week--yes, every week. A minimum of $10, when times are lean, usually about $20. Sometimes, if I've had a bit of extra money come my way, I put a larger amount in. My bank automatically transfers $25 every pay day. So I've proudly watched that account grow, and I refuse to touch it. It's nice to know that if I need that money--the car breaks down (God forbid), whatever--I've got it. After two years of straight-up unemployment and one year of living on bread crumbs working at Brookfield, watching my savings grow is wonderful.

So I'm reluctant to dip into it.

The payment schedule for tour has been released, and it looks, actually, very doable. The first couple of payments are $200 each, and I can part with that from my paycheck each month without really feeling the burn. It's fewer new outfits or splurges at the bookstore. I can deal. The next payments are$500, and those, too, I could do if I just nip and tuck here and there and put a certain amount aside each month towards that next payment. I have a nice paycheck coming at the end of summer from my summer teaching job. I can sub at the Large Suburban High School (I get nearly $50 for one period of subbing, and people always need period subs). I'm keeping a few private music students, one day a week. I'm selling cards on Etsy, including a ton I've made over the last few days (use the code JULYJOY to get 25% off any purchase of $5 or more!).

So now, I think about it. I'm very, very tempted, for very obvious reasons, to just go for it. Unemployment taught me to live frugally, and I can do that, save money, make payments on the trip, and still keep that precious savings account not only intact, but growing. It will just take a lot of work.

Still, committing to doing it is a Big Deal.

I would love, of course, to see London again, and there's a free day on the itinerary. I could happily skip out on the Thames River Cruise (been there, done that) and take a train out of Liverpool Street to see dear Burnham-on-Crouch for a day, and my friends there.

So we'll see.

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