How to Plan a Family Vacation without Emptying Your Bank Account

Family vacations are great for bonding, having fun, and discovering new places. But vacations can also be expensive. Some families end up going way over the budget when planning family vacations.

While it’s important to have fun on your vacations, spending excessively will make the rest of your year miserable. You should never borrow money to go on vacations. You shouldn’t spend all your savings on a holiday either. Here are several tips that will help your family vacation in a budget-friendly manner.

Know How Much You Can Afford

First of all, you need to know how much your budget can afford for a vacation. You will need a monthly budget first to determine this. For example, if you plan to spend $5,000 on a family vacation, how will it affect your other expenses like loan bills and food? You should first calculate all the necessary expenses. Once they are paid off, the remaining is your budget for leisure activities like vacations. You should never spend a penny more on your vacation.

Save in Advance

Sometimes we don’t make enough money monthly to afford that dream vacation. You might want to vacation in the Bahamas, but you probably can’t afford to right now. If this is the case, you should separately save for a vacation. Some people save money for vacations just like they do for retirements. You should do this too. Calculate how much you want to spend on your dream vacation, and then patiently save for it. Your vacation would feel so much sweeter if you don’t have to worry about money once you return home.

Research Tour Packages

If you are planning on buying a family tour package, don’t buy the first package you see. Spend some time researching available packages and compare prices. Also, be aware of deals and discounts offered during holiday seasons like Christmas. These are usually the peak tourist seasons, so vacationers end up spending more on everything regardless of the deals. Some vacation packages may be cheap, but the destination could be expensive. Consider these factors when you make your choice.

Consider Vacationing Locally

Local vacations are the most budget-friendly types of vacations. If you decide to vacation at the next town, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on plane tickets and such. Vacations are about experiences, not how much money you spend. Your family will be able to have fun anywhere if you have the right mindset. So, don’t obsess about going on vacations you can’t afford. Look for ways to have fun locally without splurging.

Think Outside the Box

Vacations have become a consumer industry, like many things. Don’t buy all the advertising claims about vacations. You don’t have to go to the Swiss Alps to enjoy a meaningful and entertaining holiday with your family. So, learn to think outside the box. If you are currently in serious debt, wouldn’t a picnic at the local park be as much fun as a hotel stay in the Caribbean?

Vacations should leave you relaxed, not in debt. So, follow the above tips to stay on budget during holiday seasons.

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Expensive Shopping Habits Your Salary Cannot Afford

Compulsive shopping is one of the leading reasons why people end up nose deep in debt. Learning to live within means is very important to ensure your family’s long-term financial health. If your expenses exceed your monthly income, you might soon find yourself declaring personal bankruptcy.

Most people have to spend monthly on things like rent or a mortgage and groceries. The amount you spend on these things should be carefully planned. You shouldn’t spend a higher percentage of your monthly income on shopping than you do buying essentials, like food. Yet this balance can be quite difficult to maintain. Every once in a while, we all become victims of impulsive buying habits. If your impulsive buying habits include one of the following, you could be in trouble.

Aisle Shopping

Aisle shopping is when a customer makes purchases at a store by browsing all the aisles, and therefore ends up buying unnecessary items. You are vulnerable to aisle shopping when you shop without a list. Consider this scenario: you go to the local supermarket to buy fish and eggs. On your trip, you end up browsing the sauces aisle. You buy an expensive bottle of sauce even if you didn’t plan it early or need the product. When you go to the cashier, you decide to buy a tabloid and a packet of gum because they were right there.

During this trip, you have definitely bought more than fish and eggs. You simply don’t need a good majority of the things you have bought. This is aisle shopping, how people end up spending more than they should at the local markets. This habit can inflate your household budget exponentially.

Buying New Furniture Every Year

Who doesn’t like a new couch or a footstool? We have to occasionally break the bank and buy new furniture to make our homes more livable. However, some shoppers go out of the way to buy new furniture every year. If you bought a mahogany coffee table, you might change your mind and think you’d rather have a redwood coffee table. The result is that you keep wasting money on things you don’t need. Before you buy furniture, do your research and browse multiple sites and stores. Then you will be able to buy things you know you are going to like for years to come.

Monthly Shoe Shopping Sprees

Shoe shopping is fun, but that doesn’t mean you should do it every month. It’s easy get caught up in compulsive shoe purchasing sprees, especially online. Make a resolution to buy only the shoes you need. Stop window shopping for shoes. Control your temptation by not looking at shoe shopping sites or fashion magazines. Delete your credit card information online so you don’t end up a one-click buy victim.

Christmas Shopping that Lasts Forever

Christmas is the season to shop for gifts. Unfortunately, some of us make gift shopping and excuse to go splurging. Christmas shopping should be done according to a budget, a list and a plan. You should not end up going to stores to “browse” and end up buying things. This kind of habit can last for weeks and inflate your personal budget like no other.

It’s not easy to control compulsive spending. But if you carefully read through the above points, you might be able to stop at least somewhat.

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