Plan For Vacation So Debt Doesn’t Follow You Home

Plan For Vacation So Debt Doesn’t Follow You Home

Planning a summer vacation or trip after a deployment? Learn how Joderle saves for their trips!

Joderle, a MilSpouse from Grissom AFB, Indiana has done a great job planning ahead for their annual couple’s vacation. After her husband’s first deployment, she saved up and planned a surprise trip to Greece! Read more about some of her great tips to save money.

It’s natural to want a vacation during the year or when your spouse returns from a deployment, but don’t let your “wants” override your spending plan and savings goals. Make a plan to save for a family or couples vacation, so debt doesn’t follow you home.

A summer vacation is also a great opportunity to relax and explore new things as a family. One way to ensure you really enjoy your vacation is to plan for it in advance by creating a financial goal and saving for it. Booking a last-minute vacation deal or weekend away can be exciting, but if you haven’t saved up to pay for your trip, the financial stress of added debt may erase some of the great memories made while on vacation. You may have already planned for a trip this summer, but here are our top three ideas to help you create a goal for a fabulous family vacation in the future.

  1. Set SMART Goals: Spend some time today dreaming about the vacation you want to take and outline SMART savings goals for your family. SMART goals are:

Specific: Where do you want to go and what do you want to do while you’re on vacation?

Measurable: How much will it cost and how much can you set aside each month to save?

Attainable: Can you reach this goal considering your other financial responsibilities?

Relevant: Does this vacation saving goal align with your family spending plan and other savings goals?

Time bound: How much time do you have to save?

When you start to map out your SMART vacation savings goals, be sure to include all of the details. Do your research to ensure your estimates for travel, food, lodging, and other expenses are as accurate as possible. Some areas that are often overlooked when outlining a vacation budget are clothing and gear you may want for your trip, snacks, and fees for boarding or lodging pets while you’re away. Also, keep in mind that ticket prices for airfare and theme parks can fluctuate from month to month. Remember to plan for potential price changes when estimating the cost of your trip if it is several months away. If ticket prices go down, or you have a surplus in savings after your trip, you can always use this money as a jump start in saving for your next trip!

  1. Save Your Spare Change: We often pay bills online, use credit or debit cards and mobile payment applications, but if you ever have spare change lying around—toss it in a jar. Just before your vacation, cash in your spare change and use it for snacks or souvenirs. You will be surprised how this simple habit can add up over time. This is also a great way to get kids involved in saving for vacation because they can see their efforts growing over time and they will get to enjoy a fun treat or activity with their spare change savings while on vacation.
  2. Automate Savings: A great way to make sure you hit your vacation savings goals is to automatically draft money into a savings account each month or each pay period. By setting up an automatic transfer of funds into your savings account, you are more likely to have money ready for your next big trip. You’ll know how much you need to set aside each pay period by completing a spending plan worksheet and setting SMART vacation savings goals. Simply divide the amount you need for your trip by the number of pay periods you have before your vacation. If you need more help, check out our video on getting started with saving, we will walk you step-by-step through the process of setting aside money for a vacation or any large savings goals you have.

Pro Tip: Consider setting up a separate account dedicated to vacation savings to make it easier to remember how much you set aside and track the progress toward your goals. It can also help keep you from accidentally spending that vacation money elsewhere.

Finally, when planning for your next vacation, remember that trips to theme parks and islands are amazing, but not every family trip has to be epic. Sometimes a road trip to see friends, camping in local parks, or visiting family over the summer break result in the best memories.

Savings Hack: Visiting the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office could also help you to find some great discounts for your next trip. The MWR office is the military’s network of support and leisure programs for Service members. MWR provides lots of ways for you to connect with friends and others for entertainment, rest, and relaxation.

The best vacations are often the ones that don’t follow you home in the form of debt. Take some time today to think about the trips you want to take in the future. It’s never too early to start planning and budgeting for your next great family vacation!

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

 

 

 

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Planning a summer vacation or trip after a deployment? Learn how Joderle saves for their trips!

Joderle, a MilSpouse from Grissom AFB, Indiana has done a great job planning ahead for their annual couple’s vacation. After her husband’s first deployment, she saved up and planned a surprise trip to Greece! Read more about some of her great tips to save money.

It’s natural to want a vacation during the year or when your spouse returns from a deployment, but don’t let your “wants” override your spending plan and savings goals. Make a plan to save for a family or couples vacation, so debt doesn’t follow you home.

A summer vacation is also a great opportunity to relax and explore new things as a family. One way to ensure you really enjoy your vacation is to plan for it in advance by creating a financial goal and saving for it. Booking a last-minute vacation deal or weekend away can be exciting, but if you haven’t saved up to pay for your trip, the financial stress of added debt may erase some of the great memories made while on vacation. You may have already planned for a trip this summer, but here are our top three ideas to help you create a goal for a fabulous family vacation in the future.

  1. Set SMART Goals: Spend some time today dreaming about the vacation you want to take and outline SMART savings goals for your family. SMART goals are:

Specific: Where do you want to go and what do you want to do while you’re on vacation?

Measurable: How much will it cost and how much can you set aside each month to save?

Attainable: Can you reach this goal considering your other financial responsibilities?

Relevant: Does this vacation saving goal align with your family spending plan and other savings goals?

Time bound: How much time do you have to save?

When you start to map out your SMART vacation savings goals, be sure to include all of the details. Do your research to ensure your estimates for travel, food, lodging, and other expenses are as accurate as possible. Some areas that are often overlooked when outlining a vacation budget are clothing and gear you may want for your trip, snacks, and fees for boarding or lodging pets while you’re away. Also, keep in mind that ticket prices for airfare and theme parks can fluctuate from month to month. Remember to plan for potential price changes when estimating the cost of your trip if it is several months away. If ticket prices go down, or you have a surplus in savings after your trip, you can always use this money as a jump start in saving for your next trip!

  1. Save Your Spare Change: We often pay bills online, use credit or debit cards and mobile payment applications, but if you ever have spare change lying around—toss it in a jar. Just before your vacation, cash in your spare change and use it for snacks or souvenirs. You will be surprised how this simple habit can add up over time. This is also a great way to get kids involved in saving for vacation because they can see their efforts growing over time and they will get to enjoy a fun treat or activity with their spare change savings while on vacation.
  2. Automate Savings: A great way to make sure you hit your vacation savings goals is to automatically draft money into a savings account each month or each pay period. By setting up an automatic transfer of funds into your savings account, you are more likely to have money ready for your next big trip. You’ll know how much you need to set aside each pay period by completing a spending plan worksheet and setting SMART vacation savings goals. Simply divide the amount you need for your trip by the number of pay periods you have before your vacation. If you need more help, check out our video on getting started with saving, we will walk you step-by-step through the process of setting aside money for a vacation or any large savings goals you have.

Pro Tip: Consider setting up a separate account dedicated to vacation savings to make it easier to remember how much you set aside and track the progress toward your goals. It can also help keep you from accidentally spending that vacation money elsewhere.

Finally, when planning for your next vacation, remember that trips to theme parks and islands are amazing, but not every family trip has to be epic. Sometimes a road trip to see friends, camping in local parks, or visiting family over the summer break result in the best memories.

Savings Hack: Visiting the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office could also help you to find some great discounts for your next trip. The MWR office is the military’s network of support and leisure programs for Service members. MWR provides lots of ways for you to connect with friends and others for entertainment, rest, and relaxation.

The best vacations are often the ones that don’t follow you home in the form of debt. Take some time today to think about the trips you want to take in the future. It’s never too early to start planning and budgeting for your next great family vacation!

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

 

 

 

Team Member

We are team of financial professionals who understand military life because we have experienced military life. Our goal is to educate and empower military spouses to help them make smart money moves. We combine passion and expertise to ensure you get the most accurate and relevant information. Take comfort knowing Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, an Accredited Financial Counselor® and the Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness have vetted the content on this site.

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