Kelly Blodgett launched Money Gal Coaching with a goal of serving people who, like her, were burdened by debt. You can get her tips for paying down debt on a regular basis at Bring Me The News, in addition to the Money Gal Coaching website and Facebook page. Here is her latest story:
In case you haven’t heard, the world is opening up and we are about to be released into the wild and it’s every man for himself!
Calculating the cost of flying or a good old fashioned road trip isn’t the only expense when we take a trip. In order to do everything you want during vacation, it’s important to save up some money to pay down the inevitable increased credit card bill.
Creating a vacation budget can look a few different ways depending on what you are doing, but it isn't hard! Let’s use a real example of me going to Utah for a friend’s wedding in the fall. I am creating a budget to know exactly how much I should start saving each month so that money doesn’t stop me from celebrating and having the absolute best time.
Here are the 5 areas to help you create a detailed budget that ensures you get to go on a vacation that allows you to enjoy it to the fullest!
Transportation - Decide how you will get there. For this wedding I priced out our two options, flying and a road trip. Since the flights and a rental car for a week wasn’t cheap we opted for driving but that’s not always the cheaper route.
Lodging - So many options to choose from such as hotels, AirBNBs or staying with friends. Choose your preferences and research pricing for each night you are away.
Food - This is a big one and I always like to overestimate. How much will you be spending on breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks?
Alcohol - If you like to consume adult beverages while you're away put some money aside, alcohol isn’t cheap! Estimate the number of happy hours you might have and how often.
Extras - Will you be going on any day trips? Do you like to buy souvenirs? Do you need spending money? I added a pass to the National Parks, a wedding gift and a little bit for souvenirs. Some trips this category is a lot of money while others I am spending more time with people versus doing things that cost money.
Once you have all the areas of spending let’s calculate how much money you need to start saving to get that much closer to living that #vacationlife. So far my budget is telling me that I need $972 (or $1,944 total but Derek and I split vacation expenses). If I am leaving in 5 months, I will need to save $194 a month before we leave.
If this number is realistic then great, you did it now you just have to save! Let’s say this number was too high, I would go back in and determine what areas of spending I can reduce. Easy ones for me are breakfast (I am good with coffee and a protein bar) and maybe I spend less on dinner a few nights of the week (notice I already cut dinner out one night since we will be at the wedding).
I can also increase my income. Maybe I pick up an extra shift, reduce my spending with my personal budget or sell a few things around the house to make some extra cash to help get more money.
The reason we do this extra work for a budget is so that we can curate the vacation that we want, not one that we can afford at the time. We don’t want to have guilt on our way home or regret going all together because we made irresponsible decisions.
So I ask you, what trip do you have coming up and how much money do you need to start saving to make it the best post-COVID trip ever?
Schedule a free call today and let’s chat. This is an investment into your future. Your future self will thank you.
Disclaimer: Bring Me The News will receive a portion of the proceeds from readers who purchase a service from Money Gal Coaching via our articles.