Budgeting for Vacation

Itching to go on your next vacation but your checking account isn’t quite ready to take the plunge? Whether you’re planning a family vacation to Florida or a cruise to the Bahamas this summer you have to think about your savings account before booking the trip.  Here is a quick guide to budgeting for a vacation making sure you get every penny’s worth during your getaway.

1. Determine your sources of income

So how much money do you have to work with? Do you need to pick up a part time job in order to save some extra fun money? Ask yourself how you can put away just $25.00 extra a week in order to save for a vacation. The chart below shows different scenerios of how you can save enough in just 4 months to go on a nice vacation: 

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2. Set your travel plans

The key is to start planning early with a budget in mind.  Start by making a list of your must-see destinations & activities you want to do.  Make sure to leave some room for a few unexpected adventures that you may decide you want to try spur of the moment.

Create a daily cash allowance listing out how much you expect to spend each day on transportation, food, drinks, hotels, activities and shopping. 

A good way to cut back on spending is to keep an eye out for local groupons, event packages and coupons in the area for restaurants. Example: Last weekend during of Zip Lining in French Lick adventure we found a living social deal offering 2 people for $55.00 compared to the original price of $69 a person. This deal saved us $166 dollars between 4 people! We then went Go Karting after we got a buy one round get another round free. Each Ticket was $17.00 so this coupon saved us $34.00!

Also, do you have friends or family who reside in destinations you’re dying to see? Send them a message to get some free housing lined up that is a huge money saver even if it’s just for a night or two!

3. Set up a separate Vacation Savings Account

We have talked about setting up an emergency fund and a house down payment account, but have you thought about setting up a separate account for vacations? If you make some of your money unavailable for spending, it will simply be that…unavailable! An easy way to do this is to create a separate savings account I use CapitalOne360! Remember, out of sight equals out of mind! Set up this account just like your other two with an automatic transfer so you don’t even realize the money is gone.

4. Mock Budget

In my mock budget I decided to use Jake and I’s trip to Arizona last summer as an example of how to budget your money and get the best experience on a 4 day vacation. The hotel at the Fairmont Princess Resort was paid for by his work so that was a huge savings but everything else we made a budget for making sure to spend X amount each day. We ditched the fancy restaurants and opted for cooking at home, cut back to going out only once on the weekends instead of two and cut out our Starbucks habit to save some extra cash. As you can see below we budgeted in the flight, rental car, food and some fun money keeping our entire trip under $1,000 dollars.

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