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Three Personal Finance Tips To Help You Save For Your Next Vacation

It’s that time of the year...Summer vacation season.  

School is out and families are going on all sorts of trips.

But with all the extra fun comes extra expenses that can take the joy out of your well-needed rest.  To help you make sure you are preparing financially for next year’s adventure, here are 3 tips to get you started.
Establish a vacation budget at least twelve months in advance
Before you start planning your next vacation, you should establish a budget for how much you plan to spend on it.  Often times we get so caught up in the adventure that we don’t pay attention to the costs.  Establishing a budget in advance helps you keep ahead of your spending and save what you need well in advance. There are a lot of great sites that can show you exactly how to create a budget, like Teach Me! Personal Finance

Once you have your budget in place, break it up into smaller savings goals for each month. You can find a good free budget template online that can help categorize your monthly expenses, as well as any vacation contributions you might have. Now every month, you just need to set aside that amount of money, which will eventually grow into how much you need when it comes to vacation time

This way when your vacation date finally comes around, you’ll have saved all the money you need and you can avoid putting taking on debt to have fun.
Look at many options for accommodations 
It used to be that when you traveled and needed a place to stay you would rent a hotel room.  These days, you have so many more options available to you.  You could stay at an Airbnb or a Rental By Owner (RBO) property. 

No matter what you do, you have to price compare.  Frequently the non-hotel options are a lot cheaper and nicer.  That’s because you aren’t taking on the overhead of the large company, you are primarily dealing directly with the owners.  

They also tend to have many more location options, which is a huge win for you!

Stick to your budget!
The last tip is to make sure you stick to your budget.  It’s very easy to overspend while you’re on vacation.  You become so disconnected from your day-to-day life that you can make decisions you normally wouldn’t consider.  Those decisions can be costly.  

One surefire way to keep you on track is to use something like the cash envelope system.  This is a budget tool where you use categorized envelopes with pre-set amounts of money in them for things like restaurants and shopping.  Once you spend whatever is in the envelope, it’s done.  This can help prevent you from bringing home debt with your summer vacation tan.  
Wrapping up
Vacations are a time to relax and be prepared for them financially can help you do that even more.  Following a few simple tips can help make your next vacation even more relaxing.  Just remember to plan a budget, shop around for your room, and make sure you stick to your budget!  

And most importantly…...enjoy your vacation!