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Vacation season is right around the corner, and many of us are busy planning the perfect family getaway. However, while we are busy planning the vacation, we should also make sure we stay within our budgets. Here are some tips to help you budget for vacation!
Where are you going? What things are you going to want to do? Make a list, and estimate how much things are going to cost. For example, we typically spend around $50 a day on food (we use these money saving tips to help keep the cost down), so we budget that amount for how many days we are going to be gone. Then, we set a price for entertainment; this includes things like the zoo, museums and other activities. We also plan ahead for fuel costs by calculating mileage ahead of time. Lastly we include a misc section that includes things that may not fit into the other categories. This gives us a little bit of a cushion in case we go over.
Add up the cost!
So, now that you have an idea of what you plan on spending add up the cost of the vacation. Does this amount seem doable? If so, great! If not, see if you can tweak a few areas. Keep in mind that lodging costs (at least a deposit) will need to be paid in advance in most cases. If you are way over budget already… check out these tips to save money on vacation.
Figure up how many weeks you have between now and your vacation. This is the amount of money you need to save each week. If this amount seems overwhelming hink of ways you can decrease your monthly budget, or increase your monthly income. We take an out of town vacation every other year. On the years that it is time for our vacation I plan ahead by lining up extra work to help cushion our vacation fund. One year I took on babysitting another child a few days a week. Another year, I took on a large freelancing job that gave me enough cash to allow us some extra vacation money. There are ways to start saving if you take the time to get creative!
This is how we budget for our vacation each year. Yes, it is a lot of work, but it is well worth it knowing that we have a plan in place. Having a set budget and categories also keeps us on track while we are gone. Every year we come home with money left. It may not be a lot, but every penny counts!
How do you budget for vacation?