Vacation season is in full swing, and I pretty much have my bags packed! But, if you’re like me, you might not have anticipated exactly how much you’ll need to cover the costs of the trip. The good news is your trip can still be within your reach, and here are some tips to help make it happen.
For this vacation
Budget with the money you *do* have
You might not have saved up enough in your Vacation Envelope, so take some cash from Envelopes that have a bit leftover. For me, I’m planning to transfer some from my Clothing Envelope to Vacation. When I’m done making Envelope Transfers, I can see exactly how much I have to work with, and can make other important decisions with that budget in mind. Definitely don’t budget with next year’s money by putting it all on a credit card and vaguely hoping for the best.
Rethink your accommodations
It’s hard to change plane tickets last minute. Instead, rethink your living arrangements. If you’re in a fancy hotel in the heart of the city, consider finding a cheaper hotel or moving farther from the area. Better yet, if you have friends or family in the area, ask if they have an extra room you can rent out at a reduced cost. For me, I’m planning to share a hotel room with a few other people, and that helps to make that spending more manageable.
Save for the meals you care about
Instead of eating out every meal, pick a few that will be special to you, and head to the grocery store to pick up a few staples for the other times. That way, you can spend money purposefully, and your wallet will be happy. I plan to do that just that!
Pick lower cost activities
Often times, you can find fun activities that are free or low cost in any place. If you’re heading somewhere warm, spend time at the beach or walk around town to see attractions at eye-level. I love going to museums and will look for free options on my trip.
And, for my vacation next year, I plan to start saving sooner and more aggressively, so I’m more financially prepared. Here are some things to keep in mind next time you’re planning a trip.
For next time
Plan ahead with friends & family
If you’re going on a trip with friends and family, come to an agreement on a budget ahead of time. That way, everyone can be prepared for the costs and can start saving.
Use an Annual Envelope
If you don’t have one already, consider adding an Annual Envelope to your budget. That way, Goodbudget can help you set aside cash from each paycheck all year long. So, even if you don’t save up exactly what you’ll need for your trip, you’ll have something to start with.
So, what are you still doing here? You better start packing!