Most people look forward to their summer vacations but few people appreciate the reality that vacations come with baggage in the form of credit card debt. Learning to budget for a vacation is not as easy as it seems when you feel saddled with high credit card balances or double-digit interest rates on cards you can’t manage. With debt consolidation, you can make your financial situation more manageable so there is the wiggle room in your budget to pay cash for a summer or other vacation. According to a recent article by usatoday.com, more than 50 percent of people embarking on a summer vacation do not have enough savings for the trip. A survey by Experian Consumer Services revealed 46 percent of people used a credit card to pay for their vacation. If you plan to go on a vacation or have already returned home to maxed-out credit cards or high balances, consider debt consolidation.
Finding a balance in your budget
One way of balancing your budget is to make sure you don’t spend more than you make. In addition to living below your means, you can also balance wants with needs or mandatory bills with discretionary spending. By consolidating debt through a debt management program, you figure out exactly how much you need to pay each month to satisfy your creditors. Your remaining income gets divvied up between housing expenses, food, shelter, utilities and miscellaneous bills. Experts say vacationers tend to use credit cards to pay for airfare, hotels, entertainment and dining. One strategy to afford a vacation without credit cards is to save an extra 10 percent when budgeting for transportation, housing, entertainment and food/eating out. You can use money from your monthly budget to supplement a vacation fund.
Transferring money into savings
Another tip to avoid massive credit card debt is to set up an automatic savings plan for a vacation or travel fund. The usatoday.com article recommends an automatic transfer of funds from checking into savings. If you don’t have enough money leftover after paying your debt consolidation plan and other bills, look for ways to cut back on spending. Getting rid of a land line, eating out less often, selling clothes on consignment or getting rid of subscriptions are a few easy ways to save money. One of the great things about debt consolidation is the fact that you can set up automatic monthly payments so it is easier.
You can save money on vacations by finding people to visit and places to see closer to your home state. Consider staying with friends or family to avoid hotels costs.
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