It is yet that time of the year when businesses and catchy advertising are about to get unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Will you be one of those who empty their pockets and wallets on unbridled spending sprees only to look back in horror come January? This is where Vacation planning comes in.
Well here are a few tips to help you navigate responsibly through the alluring attractions that accompany the December holidays
Vacation planning should be part of your January resolutions. If you have time now, plan for your end-year holiday months in advance. Learn from previous years how you can avoid repeating financial mistakes.
Consider how much you spent last year, and implement changes you considered having this year. Align this with your monthly saving goals. If you’re travelling/hosting someone during the festive season, find out how much you would need for essential or unavoidable expenses to set your income or saving targets. This will give you a financial upper hand in planning special occasions, celebrations or parties. Don’t be caught unawares. Always know what you’re getting into.
Here’s a real lifesaver tip to help you remain financially solvent after your vacation. Start doing your shopping list for next year. For your vacation money, you could start jotting down items that your friends, kids or family members mentioned. Search each item’s price to get an estimate of what you will spend. Set spending caps on high-priced items to control your spending.
Still, on spending caps, ensure that you do not borrow to spend. This can easily lead to a debt trap. This is a fundamental rule in financial well-being. Instead, save for the holidays, and stop comparing your holiday plans to your colleagues or cousins. Never fall into the trap of trying to please people by spending, instead walk around with limited cash that is budgeted for, and whenever possible, find a quiet place and add up your expenditure for the evening.
Talking of adding up your expenses, I suggest that you keep an expense journal for planning and accounting. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to write it down.
Review your goals and expenses. This begins with writing everything down to simplify your tracking process. This keeps you focused. Write down a complete vacation checklist of all the items you’d like to buy, including spending limits for some items or activities. The objective of tracking your vacation expenditure is to avoid overspending.
Your best vacation experience is always the one that happens just like you pictured it. But what if you also had one that left your finances better than you thought? Start considering alternatives you can enjoy with friends and family and get value for your money.
Also find ways in which you can spend less and still get what you want. Substitute choices where necessary. It may be gifts or trips. There’s always offers that may make you reconsider your first thought. For example, means of travel, type of hotel or quality of a service. Do your due diligence to avoid getting ripped off or paying for overpriced items and services.
Vacation planning gives you the opportunity to look at new experiences and places you can try out. You could try the “all-inclusive” vacation packages. These vacation packages include most or all of your vacation expenses, from accommodations, meals, and beverages, to entertainment and activities. Paying upfront for this helps you spend less if you otherwise had to plan for each expense. Sometimes each expense can be much more expensive compared to the paid package. This gives you peace of mind knowing you won’t have to go around for other stuff or overspend because of high rates.
As we head towards the end of the year, make your vacation planning part of your monthly goals. Let it motivate you to use your finances well. In the end, your memorable holiday season will never be a regret even as you cross over to the new year.
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