With just over a month left until the big holiday weeks, it’s high time to put together a financial plan for the holidays. By avoiding certain traps, you can keep costs down and make the summer budget add up in a good and smart way – we’ll tell you how!
Separate the holiday economy from the everyday economy
Setting up a budget for the holiday is a must in order to keep track of how much you are spending and whether you are approaching your maximum limit, but also to avoid the risk of mixing up your holiday money with the rest of your finances. Calculate what would be a reasonable amount to spend based on your financial conditions and set that as a guideline. The sum should be exclusive of all your fixed costs such as rent, insurance and other bills which, unfortunately, do not take holidays, but continue to come as usual.
Write down plans and excursions
To make sure that the money will be enough for what you want to do, you can write a list of all plans, excursions and possible trips. Find out the costs and add up the total to make sure it fits in your holiday fund.
Create a specific holiday account
Once you have compiled your plans and set up a budget that fits your finances, you transfer the determined amount to a specific holiday account. This sum will be your budget, which should be enough for all the holiday weeks and cover expenses such as excursions, food and transport. Therefore, choose carefully how much the holiday can cost – and stick to this amount!
Set aside a holiday pot per week
In addition to an overall budget for the whole summer, it is good to also divide the budget into one pot per week. Calculate how much you think will be needed per week to more easily keep track of the costs along the way and based on the plans you have. Take your total, break it down weekly and allocate according to your plans and expenses.
Traps to avoid
Snacks and coffee
Hopefully the weather offers many days at the beach, but be careful that hanging out on the beach doesn’t automatically mean buying coffee. If there are several of you in the family, soft drinks, ice cream and other small items are an expense that easily goes away. It can cost several hundreds per day, money that could be spent on something much more enjoyable. Instead, bring food, drinks and coffee from home and save lots of money.
It’s still a holiday after all is a fairly common way of thinking during large parts of the holiday. But as always, impulse buying can often be a real culprit – and is it really worth it? After a few extra moments, think about whether the purchase is really something you need and what you could actually do with that money instead.
Of course, you should eat out occasionally, but make sure you stick to your budget plan so it doesn’t risk becoming a habit. Make simpler food boxes for the beach, arrange a picnic instead of visiting the café and invite a group of friends over and grill at home or outdoors instead of eating grilled at a restaurant.
Below you can read more about how you can keep track of the holiday fund, as well as get tips on various fun and cheap activities.