Vacation spending has a way of getting out of control quickly. Setting up a budget and sticking to it is probably the best way to ensure that your vacation spending doesn't haunt you for the months that follow your trip.
There are several components to your budget you should always take into account, such as transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment. Be sure to include other costs that are unique to your situation as well.
These strategies will help you create a vacation budget that works for you:
1. Transportation. Transportation costs include airfare, car rental, gas, and parking. Most of these items are pretty easy to plan for. This tends to be the easiest part of the budget to plan for and stick to. Simply add up all the known costs and then plan accordingly for the likely gas and parking expenses.
2. Food. You’ll probably do a pretty good job of sticking to your transportation budget, but food can quickly get out of hand. For example, you might plan on eating a bologna sandwich in your hotel room for lunch every day. But if you're having a good time at the beach or amusement park, you're probably just going to grab something there.
3. Entertainment. If you're going to spend all your time at one location, like an amusement park, this category can also be easy to plan for. However, if you're just heading to Miami, for instance, to wing it, entertainment costs can really mount up if they don’t figure into your budget.
4. Shopping. Consider the costs of t-shirts, knick-knacks, and anything else you're likely to buy and include an estimate in your budget.
Sticking to Your Budget
Try these techniques to stay within your budget while you’re on your trip:
A vacation budget of $3,000, $4,000 or enough $5,000 may seem like a lot, but as anyone knows, spending money is easy. What seems like plenty of money can run out quickly without some planning and restraint. By making a budget and sticking to it, you'll find your vacation is a lot more enjoyable. You'll also find that the months after the vacation are a lot more enjoyable, too.
Increasing Financial Awareness and Building Financial Stability