Budgeting 101 – Vacations!

Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park Copyright 2014 - Sweet Doll Designs
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park
Copyright 2014 – Sweet Doll Designs

We are now in prime vacation season, so I thought we could talk about budgeting for vacations.

When you decide to go on vacation, it is best to plan several months in advance so that you can make out a savings plan for your trip.  Are you able to put aside $50 – $100 per month toward your next vacation?  If you can’t swing this amount, consider saving your $5 bills as we discussed, or even save your $1 bills.

In the $5 bill post, we talked about saving the bills for gifts for your loved ones.  You can also use this money toward your vacation.  You can decide to use this money however you’d like.

If you are saving in small increments like this, you’ll probably need to save for a longer period of time, depending on how much you’ll need for the particular vacation you’ve chosen.  Don’t forget about visiting our nation’s treasures – National Parks.  They are beautiful, interesting, educational, and often budget friendly.

Let’s say you’ve decided to visit Yellowstone National Park (pictured above).  You might start by researching accommodations.  You have the option to stay inside the park, or you can stay in the surrounding area, which might be slightly less expensive.  Have you ever thought about staying on a Dude Ranch?  They’re lots of fun.  Anyway, write down around how much your accommodations will cost.

Next, research how much travel costs are to get to that area.  Compare the prices of flying into different airports in the area – one may be less expensive than the others.

Other items to remember to budget for are: car rental, gas, food, and souvenirs.  With all this pricing information, you can determine approximately how much you’ll need for your vacation.  Then divide that number by the number of weeks until your scheduled vacation to know how much you’ll need to save each week.

Saving for your vacation might take longer than just going on vacation and putting everything on your credit card to pay off later.  However, you’ll be happy that you took the time to determine your budget then regularly put money to the side so that you can truly enjoy your vacation without any money worries!  Have fun!

Happy decoding!

Fun fact for today – Andrew Jackson, seen on the $20 bill, actually preferred using coins instead of paper currency (Source: http://blog.lendingclub.com/the-us-dollar-bill-50-fascinating-facts/).

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