With summer approaching for many people that means time for some vacation fun! “Where do you want to go?” “What do you want to do?” Those are fine questions, but the most important vacation question of all is “How much can you afford to spend?” It’s okay to spend money on a vacation if your budget allows it, but overspending is something you definitely want to avoid.
Overspending isn’t merely limited to credit cards, but includes cash as well. Often times people say they won’t overspend on their vacation because they won’t be using credit cards. However, overspending with cash is still quite possible, and it’s no fun returning from a vacation to realize that you have a vacation financial hangover. It can be challenging to pay the normal monthly bills, such as rent, car, or student loan payments, etc., if you spent too much on your fun getaway.
A few tips:
- The first and best tip is to look at your budget to see what amount you can afford for a vacation.
- Look at fun options in the area such as parks, museums, concerts, and other local attractions to avoid expensive hotel costs.
- Pack your own food, drink, and snacks, rather than paying $3 for a bottle of water at a park, hotel, or convenience store.
- Avoid charging your vacation onto a credit card unless you have a solid plan for paying it back in full within a few months.
With just a little advance planning you can have a vacation that you will enjoy without wrecking your budget.
Mark Foster is Director of Education with Credit Counseling of Arkansas (CCOA). CCOA is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. To schedule an appointment with a Certified Consumer Credit Counselor contact CCOA at 800.889.4916, or visit CCOA online at www.CCOAcares.com.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.