In today’s world, a lot of middle-class individuals are in debt. It happens for a variety of reasons and it’s nothing that should bring you down. The only things it might bring down slightly are your finances. It’s a lot harder to organize a vacation when you still owe lots of money. Whether it’s debt from credit cards of lenders, it’s going to have a big impact on your ability to go and get your well-earned vacation. However, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult. As long as you know how to handle your current debts, you could be abroad on your stress-free vacation in no time.
1. Proper budgeting can work wonders
One of the biggest issues you’ll run into when planning a vacation is budgeting. You can’t suddenly decide to spend money you don’t have on a lavish trip abroad. You need to consider your available finances before you make the decision. The problem is made even worse when you have some debt to pay off first. Even the money you do have available isn’t exactly ripe for spending since you owe it to someone. How do you save up in time for the vacation while still getting over this big financial hurdle? It’s a lot easier than you think.
There’s nothing that good budgeting can’t accomplish. A properly formed budget will help you save up for any trip you want to take. However, you need to create a proper budgeting plan to achieve this.
Take a look at all the expenses you have every month. It’s not just about the bills and groceries, either. You need to thoroughly assess all the things you spend money on. Expenses can be divided into three groups. There are the constant expenses that you can expect every single month. These include things like rent, mortgage, utilities, cable, cell phone costs, and anything else you absolutely need to pay at the end of the month. Variable expenses include all the events and dining you partake in. You probably won’t be a shut-in for months on end just to save some money, so always consider these expenses. Then, there are the debts you have. Credit card and loan debts are your debt expenses and you need to set a certain amount of funds every month for them.
There isn’t much you can do about your fixed expenses every month, but you can easily budget for your outings and debts. Figuring this out is the key first step towards having more money at the end of the month.
2. Credit cards are out of the question
Credit cards are a great idea in theory. The bank knows that you’re good for the money, so why not borrow some for some small things here and there. They give you the opportunity to make financial choices you normally couldn’t while not actively crippling your current finances. This is, of course, only applicable if you’re extremely responsible with your spending. In reality, most people don’t treat their credit card money in a responsible way. They make mistakes and rack up debt, which is perfectly understandable.
If you’re trying to fight off debt and save money for your dream vacation, you should probably reconsider using credit cards. Having one debt is enough to slow your finances enough to make it difficult to get your vacation plans in order. Piling on some additional debt isn’t going to go over well. It’s highly unlikely that you can muster up the necessary savings while you’re paying off a second debt. Worse yet, letting these debts increase while you spend credit card money would put you in a worse situation. It’s a sacrifice, but one you should be willing to take to get your dream trip funds.
3. Organizing your debts will give you a good perspective
Knowing what state your finances are in is absolutely essential when you’re planning a big trip. Debt seems like a simple enough concept. You owe money, and you need to pay it off in instalments. However, it’s never that simple in practice. A lot of people owe several different kinds of debt, all of which have their own rules and payment options. Mortgages are a good example. You might not be in a huge rush to pay them, but they still factor into your monthly expenditures.
Organizing your debts will allow you to get a good grip on where to put your priorities. Some debts are more urgent than others, as they might have higher interest or bigger penalties for missed payments. When you know where to start, you can slowly get your budget into order and create your travel fund.
To actually figure this out, you’re going to need every last piece of paper that is relevant to those debts. Look for your latest credit card statements, loan instalments, and mortgage statements. These will give you a rough idea of what to deal with first. It’s going to be difficult at first when you have to look at those huge numbers, but it’s well worth the hassle of doing the math.
4. Start a side hustle
Being strapped for cash isn’t an uncommon state for most people. Sometimes you have some extra money on the side, sometimes you don’t. If it just so happens that you don’t have any spare money for your trip, you could always give yourself a temporary cash boost. Taking on a second job might be a bit too stressful. Working two jobs tends to tire people out. Instead, you could always try a side hustle.
There is a plethora of potentially lucrative side hustles out there. You could spend an hour or two doing small jobs online and collecting the money for your vacation. Alternatively, you could use this side hustle stash to pay off your debts first.
Some people prefer going out and dedicating themselves to their side hustle. Driving for Uber or Lyft could give you some nice numbers if you manage to pull off several hours per day. If you’re the creative type, selling crafty items on Etsy would give you some way to channel your creativity. Plus, you get to make a couple bucks pretty easily while you have some fun.
5. Get creative while travelling
Going on vacation is a pretty big expense. It can take a chunk out of your paycheck and leave you wondering where you went wrong with your finances for the month. Part of the reason it’s so expensive is that you need shelter and food while you’re on vacation. There’s no going around it, you need a roof over your head, especially when you’re abroad in unfamiliar territory. Eating out every day is going to add to the already high cost of the vacation.
However, all of these elements of your vacation don’t really have to be that expensive. The best part about travelling is the destination, everything else is just a bunch of details you won’t remember. You can always get creative with your food and shelter sources. Instead of spending a lot of money, you can always trade services for food and accommodation.
Some people act as nannies for small children for a couple of days in exchange for a spare room in the parent’s home. Seniors often hire companions to spend time with and care for them for the day. You can find a lot of people that need the bare minimum of service and are willing to share their dinner and spare rooms with travellers. If you find a couple of these arrangements in the place you decide to visit for your vacation, your costs can be cut down dramatically.
6. Travel within means
A lot of people take their dream vacation very seriously. If it’s not the utmost luxury and comfort, why even bother with organizing it? However, it might be time to redefine what a “dream vacation” is. Is it all about going somewhere and not having to work, or are you more interested in the destination you’re visiting? Some people will only travel if it means meeting new people and new cultures.
One thing most dream vacations have in common is the fact that they don’t need to cost nearly as much as you imagine. Travelling is dirt cheap nowadays, as long as you know where to look. It’s not always easy to find the best deals out there, but it’s well worth the effort. Just because it’s your dream vacation doesn’t mean you should settle for some mediocre deals. Planning is half the battle when it comes to going on vacation. If you aren’t willing to get the best possible deal for your current budget, you might not consider it your dream vacation.
Use the funds you have to plan out your ideal vacation. When it’s time to cut corners, take out all the things that aren’t essential to you. You’re going to be left with an ideal vacation, safe from all the fluff that would have come from overbudgeting and being lazy.
7. Finance it well
When you’re in debt, it can be easy to forget that your vacation is supposed to be a relaxing and soothing experience. It’s a lot harder to enjoy yourself when you’re constantly stressing about your finances. It’s especially bad when you’ve only brought a minimal budget along for the trip. If you’ve spent some time saving and still find it difficult to organize the vacation, you might want to look into alternative financing for it.
If you’re travelling within your means and your finances are in check, you could use a temporary cash boost to help you get on the road. Lots of marketplaces and lenders are willing to give low rate personal loans to people looking to go on vacation. As long as your budget allows for the extra payments every month, you could go on your dream vacation without much worry about your financial situation. Just make sure you pay your instalments on time and you’ll have some very fond memories of your vacation
8. Pay off debt
If you feel like your debt is pulling you down and making it difficult to set up your dream vacation, it might be time to make some bigger changes. Paying off part of the debt should already be one of your priorities, but you could always give it an extra push. Decide which debt you’re going to pay off first before doing anything else.
This can be a tough decision to make for a lot of people. Prioritizing debts requires thinking quite a bit in advance and crunching a lot of numbers. Luckily, there’s an easier way to go about it. The general rule of thumb is that you should stick to paying off your smallest debts first. The bigger debts often have a longer pay-off period and instalments are relatively constant. Small debts can balloon out of control and create more of a problem than they need to. Paying them off quickly gets them off your mind and makes your debts more manageable.
Everyone wants to be able to make their dream vacation come true. For those that are especially inclined towards travelling, it’s one of the most important decisions that they can make. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that can influence whether or not you can go on your vacation. Familial obligations, work schedules, and financial problems are some of the most impactful ones.
Debt is something that millions of employed individuals deal with on a monthly basis. Paying off debt makes it a lot harder to turn a dream vacation into a real vacation. However, it doesn’t make it impossible. People have gone on vacation with debt that rivals the cost of their vacation. Who can blame them? Rest is a crucial part of every human’s work cycle and it’s hard to imagine how long someone can go without a break. Bills and rent need to be paid and this can bring down the budget. As long as you follow some of these tips, you can pretty much guarantee yourself that you’ll be heading towards that vacation pretty soon.