Tips To Organize Your Finances After The Holidays

A person keeping some bills in his pocketPhoto by Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash

Some people are disciplined and smart about their money all year long, except when it comes to vacations. It's as if they believe that making wise decisions and spending responsibly doesn't apply for that week or two. The truth is, you have to play defense with your money and not let your guard down just because you're on the beach.

It is true, you work hard for months to be able to afford to get out of the routine and relax perhaps on an island paradise or in a cabin in the mountains, but that does not mean that your budget is on vacation too. One or two bad decisions will become a problem when you return home.

These are some tips to control your finances after the holidays

Make a budget

Yes, you also need to budget while on vacation. Decide how much you'll spend overall, then decide where you can go based on that budget. 100,000 pesos won't take you to the Riviera Maya, but it can take you on a road trip.

Use technology

There are several apps to help you keep your expenses on track. Some may organize your spending by category, show you how much you've spent, and subtract the spending from your overall budget.

Don't forget hidden costs

Remember additional expenses like airline baggage fees and carry-on fees, tips, Wi-Fi fees, and resort fees. Read the fine print before booking so you don't get caught off guard when you arrive at the airport or hotel.

Cook yourself

Stay in hotels and condos with kitchens and purchase on the first day of your vacation. You can eat at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out. Make sure you prepare your menu for the week before you go. Deciding on the fly when you get to the store is a recipe for disaster.

Choose local

If you want to eat out, skip the chain restaurants. They are usually more expensive. Instead, ask the locals about their favorite restaurants. Food is generally better and cheaper.

Book directly

When you book a room, a table at a restaurant, or rent a car on a travel page, it takes a commission. It is better to book directly with the providers to avoid extra charges.

Join travel loyalty programs

Even if you don't have a credit card, it never hurts to join travel loyalty programs. It's almost always free, and the payoff is compelling: free or reduced-fare airfare, overnight stays, car rentals, and more.

It is better to spend a little more on location than on transportation

It is true, the further the hotel is from the tourist area, the cheaper it is, but transport prices can be excessive, especially in the high season. Look to stay in an area considerably close so that you can get around on foot rather than spending on taxis or car rentals.

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Mindsmatter is written by Bola Kwame, Jack Graves and Emma Buryd. De-stigmatizing mental illness one day at a time.

New York, NY

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