Yes, it’s still January. But, time is flying by and before you know it you’re flipping the calendar to March and thinking of someplace warm for a spring break getaway. Did you charge your last vacation? Vacations are fun, but not if you don’t have the money to pay for them. From now on it may be better to save for your vacation in advance and pay as you go. It is not that hard to do — providing you make a plan and stick to it.
You could make your vacation one of your periodic expenses and save a little each month. Decide how much you want to spend on your entire vacation. Divide that number by 12 months, and put that amount away each month. You could even have the amount deducted from your paycheck each week and funnel it straight into a bank or credit union savings account. That means it could earn interest over the course of the year as you are saving.
If you receive a regular paycheck every two weeks you will get an “extra” paycheck some months that you can put aside for vacation. If you are paid every two weeks you receive a paycheck 26 times each year. If you set up your budget based on two paychecks per month – or 24 paychecks a year – getting paid every two weeks is almost like two extra paychecks a year. Why not treat the two extra paychecks a year as a bonus? Use part of them to fund your vacation. Just be sure to put the extra paychecks into a savings account instead of spending them.
Drew Kessler is Vice President of Marketing & Communications with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.