Should you take a vacation when you are struggling with money? When it’s worth it and when it’s not. (Spoiler: you can actually afford it.)
How many times have we all said this in the past week? Probably a lot, right?
Things that I wish I learned in high school: Adulting is not easy. Sometimes, it’s downright draining. That’s why I have a mental break sounds absolutely amazing. But did you really take a vacation when you’re struggling with money?
There are only two ways that you should take a vacation when you are struggling with money.
1) You have been saving up for it and can pay for it all in cash.
Unless you can pay for a vacation completely out of pocket with your own money that you’ve saved up, you should not be going on vacation. Period.
No matter how much or how little money you make, if you struggle with money, you should not put a vacation on your credit card if you can’t afford to pay it off that month.
If you have been saving up for a vacation all year then, by all means, you deserve to take it!
2) You were given a vacation for free.
Now, this doesn’t usually happen to everybody! Unless you won some kind of a contest or have a family member who is willing to pay for your vacation, this does not apply to everybody. But it does sometimes happen. It’s really the only second option that you should have if you are struggling with money and want to take a vacation.
For my family, taking a vacation is really important to us. My husband works a very physically demanding job and we don’t really get a break from our lives. So it is really important to us to go on vacation every year.
Yes, even when we were making very little money, we still went on vacation. But we’ve never put any vacations on credit cards and we never plan to in the future.
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If you feel that taking a vacation is a high priority for you, here’s how you can take a vacation when you are struggling with money,
1) Plan ahead.
Honestly, this is basically the only step in this whole process. If you don’t plan ahead for your vacation, you will be able to take one if you’re struggling with money. By planning ahead you are able to know how much money you will need to set aside in order to pay for the vacation. You will also be able to buy your travel accommodations during the cheapest points in the year, whenever they may be.
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2) Round up.
When you are coming up with estimates of how much things will cost, always round up and go with the highest possible price for things. If you are looking at airfare, and you really think that it’s probably only going to be $200, round up and make it $300 or even $400.
Just in case it is really expensive, this won’t throw off your entire plans for your budget. This will allow you to save more money while you are trying to build up a savings account for this expense.
If you don’t plan ahead for your vacation, you won’t be able to take one. That might sound harsh, but it’s basically a simple as that.
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3) Start saving NOW.
Now that you’ve planned ahead and have the general idea of how much money you will need to save, it’s time to start saving money. The best way to do this is a little bit at a time.
That’s why it’s important to plan ahead! You have more time to save up a lot of money so that you can have the kind of vacation that you really want if you have a lot more time to plan.
The best way to make sure that you save money instead of putting it off his to prioritize your savings. Make saving money a priority by setting up an automatic deposit into a savings account the same day that you have a paycheck come into your bank account. I mean it when I say that automatic deposits are the best financial invention of the century.
This part is going to take some simple math, but I’m confident that you can do it. (And it really is simple math!)
- If you’re planning a year in advance for the time that you’re taking your vacation that will give you 52 weeks to save up.
- So let’s say that you’ve estimated that you are next vacation will cost $1,500.
- Now all you need to do is divide $1,500 by 52 weeks. That comes out to $28.85 each week.
- If you get paid every other week you still have 26 pay periods to work with.
- You still have $57.69 to save up each pay period.
- Now that you know what you need to say is, all you have to do is set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account and put it into a savings account on the same day as your direct deposit from your paycheck it’s your bank account.
This way, you can always make sure that you are still saving up the right amount of money without needing to worry that you won’t have enough the paycheck. If you don’t make saving money a priority it going to fall to the back burner. At that point, it’s really easy to just save whatever you have left over at the end of the paycheck. or even worse, forget to save money completely.
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You can take a vacation when you’re struggling with money. And in the process, you might find that you stop struggling with money.
This is a process that takes a lot of dedication and intentional saving. When you save up for a vacation, when you choose to take a vacation paying cash instead of depending on credit cards and lines of credit to pay for it, it really forces you to find ways to save up that money each week; to make that fit into your budget.
More budgeting and money saving resources just for you:
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- 30+ Real Ways to Earn Money From Home
- 10 Reasons Why You Need An Emergency Fund
- Save Money Automatically: An Honest Review of Digit
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How do you vacation on a budget?