Summertime means it’s travel season! Most people are taking at least one trip, whether it’s by plane, car, or bus. While all these trips are taking place, let’s be real here — a budget is rarely in use due to the perception of the “limiting” factor. I get it, we all want to enjoy ourselves without thinking about money. We want to do all the things we rarely do at home such as eating out every day at fancy restaurants, going out on excursions, and splurging on other fun activities.
Here’s the reality check: Not having a budget is a problem — a huge problem, actually, because it’s a setup for failure. By failure, I mean overspending money you shouldn’t have spent. I know I’m not the only one that has done this. It’s the worse feeling in the world and it’s stressful. Dipping in money that you allocated for something else or taking six months to pay off your credit card because of that overindulgent vacation is not where it’s at. Instead of allowing that stressful feeling to occur, reverse engineer your processes so you can feel accomplished instead of stressed after vacation.
Before getting into the benefits of planning financially for your trips, let’s get into the psyche of a budget. The word “budget” has the same effect on people as “diet” does. It’s often seen as a tool for deprivation and limitation, especially when it comes to planning vacations. To clarify, a budget is a spending plan for you to set you up for success. It allows you to determine whether you have enough money to do what you want to do. If the word budget just makes you cringe, be creative and call it something different.
For this post, we’ll refer to it as a “glow-up plan” because of the transformation it provides, mentally and financially.
1. Make accurate decisions
A glow-up plan for your vacation encourages you to maneuver differently. Creating one allows you to stay focused and make informed and accurate decisions. We all know that not having a plan and procrastinating is expensive, especially when it comes to flights. Knowing exactly what you can afford and planning your trip ahead of time will save you money and stress. Who doesn’t like saving money?
2. Avoid anxiety
We all take vacations to relax, immerse ourselves in different cultures, and embark on new adventures. Wouldn’t it be great to keep that momentum going even after your vacation? Setting a glow-up plan will help you avoid feeling anxious so you don’t dread having to face that credit card bill knowing that it’s no bueno (not good). Plus, it will save you some money on that credit card interest.
3. Learn to compromise
With everything in life, compromises will have to be made. You might have to swap that expensive hotel view by the water for that bungee jumping adventure you want to go on. It’s all about balance. It doesn’t mean you’ll have less of a great time, it means that you value that excursion more than the view of the hotel. A glow-up plan allows you to prioritize what you want to get the most out of your trip.
These are just some of many benefits you can have by implementing a glow-up plan for all of your different vacations. I guarantee if you try this at least once, you will see how beneficial it is. If you aren’t sure how to keep track of your spending while on vacation, there’s an app for that!
My favorite app is called Fudget, and it is available for iOS and Android. It’s a manual glow-up entry app that helps you keep you on top of your spending. Essentially, you can create different categories and set a cash balance. From there, every time you spend, you can add it as an expense and it will calculate your balance as you enter it. Check it out.
Now go enjoy your vacation — and thank me after!
Bola Sokunbi is the founder of CleverGirlFinance.com. She’s passionate about helping women take control of their money so they can live life on their own terms.
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