We are quickly approaching the half-way mark of our 2012 Debt Free Challenge! How are things coming along? I have faith you are all doing fantastic! As you get ready to plan your summer vacations, you want to make sure you don’t revert back to your old ways.
The best thing to do is to still stick with cash. You can pay for your tickets with a debit card*. You can rent a car with your debit card*. You can use it just like a debit card just about anywhere. There is no reason to pull out a credit card or open a new one simply for your vacation.
When you do travel, stick with cash or travelers checks if possible. You should be use to using cash and you know that when you have to track your spending, you tend to spend less than you normally w0uld. The same is true on vacation. You can take along your envelopes – just modify them for your trip:
Hotel (if you using cash rather than debit)
If you do use cash, make sure you do not take all of it with you on every outing. Request a safe in your hotel room and keep it locked up (many hotels now have this included as a standard feature).
One way to save is on dining out. Rather than purchase breakfast out each morning (if your hotel does not include one), you can stop by the store and pick up a few items for your morning meal. You can request a refrigerator in your room so you can keep milk and other items chilled. You can also pick up snacks or even items to make sandwiches for lunch. If you can limit your actual dining out to one meal a day, you really can save money.
Perhaps your budget is too tight to allow for a vacation this year. Why not do a staycation insead? You can set up your own waterpark in your backyard. You can turn on the game and make your favorite ballpark foods and have a game day at home. You can even visit local tourist destinations in your own city. Nothing says you have to travel more than 10 minute from your home to have a great time with your family.
No matter what you plan to do this summer, just make sure you budget everything on your trip. By doing that, you can help ensure you don’t overspend and you don’t end up back at Step 1 — Learning how to get out of Debt — when you get home. There is nothing worse than walking into the door, tired from vacation to see a hefty credit card bill lying in wait.
|**Please, if you have recently paid off another debt, share with us! You can report every single debt — so that we can have an accurate amount reflected!! As a reminder, the survey is completely anonymous – there is truly no way for me to know who you are at all. You can share your amount you have PAID OFF HERE.|
(I am not a financial advisor and the information listed within these Debt Challenge posts is not to be construed a financial advice. This is knowledge we gained through our own personal experiences and information as outlined in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Makeover — and is being shared as such. Participants are not required to follow any steps listed if they do not wish to do so. Financial concerns/issues should be addressed with a professional in order to receive advice and assistance.)
*Make sure you card is a bank card with credit/debit features otherwise, it may not be accepted. Contact your banking institution if you are not sure.