Prepare Your Finances For Vacation

Who doesn’t like going on vacation? Although I’ll admit that laying out money for something that doesn’t last longer than the week you’re away kind of irks me. But it’s the memories and the immediate gratification that I enjoy every time, despite the money I have to pay to get to our travel destination.

It’s important to consider your financial situation when booking a new trip. Perhaps you have a vacation fund and limit your spending that way. For us, it’s more to do with how much cash we have free for the trip, and how much of it we’re comfortable spending. We tend to stay at middle-of-the-road hotels — not too cheap, and not full-on luxury. We’re happy staying somewhere that offers a few amenities and is a comfortable, safe place to sleep.

I can’t be away from home more than a week without getting homesick. Actually five days usually is plenty for me to get a taste of another state or culture. But even a week away from home can have financial implications: Your bills still need to get paid!

Going away at the end of the month? The rent or mortgage will be due on the 1st, and you have to be prepared to have it paid beforehand. The same goes for credit cards and utility bills. A missed payment can ding your credit score and raise your interest rates.

That’s why it’s essential that you have your financial house in order before embarking on the trip of a lifetime or a short vacation. Make sure all of your bills are paid before you leave, even if that means mailing out a check or scheduling payment online. Otherwise, you could return home to late fees and higher interest rates — and that’s not what you want to come back from vacation to confront.

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