Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Finance your vacation without breaking the bank

I have been asked how to finance a vacation by several people. The advent spring means that summer is right around the corner. This means that the time to plan your spring break getaway, road trip or summer vacation is now. Some folks prefer to "wing it" but I always feel better once the I've figured out how to finance the vacation.

These tips will get you on the road without breaking the bank.

Roaring Fork Nature Trail, Smokies Greeting Cards
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1. Self-financed vacation
The easiest trip to pay for is a one-payday getaway. Add up your bills and decide how much you realistically can spend out of one paycheck. This is your budget. Next, look for ways that the money can go farther. What travel deals are available? Are any hotels offering discounts or incentives? Do whatever you must to stay within budget.

2. Develop a savings account
One way to finance a vacation is to develop a savings account. Clip coupons, pack lunch instead of eating out, car pool to work...You get the idea. Putting aside $5 a week will give you $260 at the end of the year, $10 gives you $520 etc. Expand your budget by combing your savings with the self-financed vacation that I talked about above.

3. Make advance payments
One of the things that I like about Walt Disney World vacations is that you can make payments to finance the vacation in advance. The last payment is due about two weeks before you arrive. Signing up for the meal plan or going during a free dining period leaves very little to pay for at the park.