Financial Wellness Tip #4: The Travel Budget

Accounting for additional vacation spending

In honor of our fully paid for trip to Disneyland with our family, this week, I am talking about the travel budget.

A Travel Budget is basically the same format as your “normal” budget (which, if you need help forming a realistic one, GPS Financial Coaching specializes in it!), but it includes the line items you wouldn’t normally spend, such as dining out, extra transportation costs, hotel costs (including “resort fees”, taxes, parking fees, etc.), souvenirs, and admission to activities. Those things add up, and the reason most people overspend on vacation is because they “forget” about those additional costs associated with leaving town.

  • If you are diligent with your daily budget (need help? Contact us!), you will find you save money in some places, and you can  divert those funds towards your vacation. For example, if you normally get $250 for groceries for the 1st thru the 15th of each month, but you will be gone the 1st thru the 7th, you can funnel half of your normal grocery money to your vacation! YAY!
  • If you use YNAB, you can even create a separate budget to use while you are on vacation. At the swipe of a finger, you can see if you can buy that fourth churro (calories don’t count when you are on vacation), or if that will put you over your allocated amount.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that our family will be able to take our first REAL vacation (read: a hotel room for more than one night) and know it’s not going to scar our financial future because we’ve proactively saved for it.

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