By Brian Denysuik
Summer vacations can very well be the highlight of your year – well worth any cost. However, these trips can ring in over a thousand dollars, and strain your budget if no money has been put aside.
The best way to avoid using credit cards unnecessarily, or getting behind in everyday bills, is to plan ahead. By starting a savings account now for next year’s summer vacation, you’ll be able to enjoy your hard-earned vacation without worrying about financial woes.
Start a savings account for your trip
It’s all too easy to forget that certain money is off-limits when it’s in a bank account that’s readily accessible. Instead, start a separate account that is specifically for your vacation. Decide how much you can afford, or how much you want to spend on the vacation, and divide that number by the months remaining. Treat it like any other expense or bill, and put it away before any extras are bought each month.
Find more money
If your budget is already stretched tight, it may seem hard to find that extra $100 or more to put away. If this is the case, one of two things must happen: spend less, or make more. You may find the monthly vacation amount right in your current budget by reducing grocery costs, cutting down luxury expenses, or even taking the bus instead of driving.
Another way to finance your vacation savings is to find ways to earn that extra amount by getting a second job or selling unneeded items via garage sales or on eBay.
By planning ahead, you’ll enjoy your next summer vacation with absolutely no financial worries. Hakuna matata.
Brian Denysuik is a local credit counsellor and registered insolvency counsellor at Creditaid who has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years.