The summer months are jam-packed with getaways: vacations at the beach, summer weddings, camping trips, and more. No matter what your getaway is, you can count on having a fun time and spending money. We have talked about preparing for vacations, budgeting appropriately, and the like, but what about after the trip? Where can you begin the financial recovery process? Below are three tips to help jumpstart your savings and budgeting processes after the vacation has ended.
Take inventory of your expenses
Make a list of everything you spent preparing for and during your vacation. It might be scary to see, but it will help you plan better for future trips. If you think you were an excessive spender, determine ways you can cut costs for your next trip. For example, consider shared meals, carpooling, or a stricter shopping budget while out of town. While you cannot go back and change the amount you spent, you can use that information moving forward to make more financially responsible decisions during your travels.
Get back into habitual savings
Hopefully, you had a vacation savings account before you left for your trip, depositing regularly to cover related expenses. If so, continue saving even though the trip is over! Building your savings is one of the most important actions you can take to become financially successful and stable. Start with however much you can afford and make it a habit. Whether it is $20 each week or $200 each month, you are working toward that goal.
If you did not contribute to a vacation savings account, that is okay! Start today and watch how the money will continue to grow and offer you additional security and peace of mind.
Restart those routines again
The “anything goes” mentality often accompanies vacations. But it is not necessarily the best strategy when it comes to finances. Even though you might not have paid close attention to what you were spending while out of town, you should do so again—or begin to—now that you are home. Being aware of what you are spending allows you to better track your funds and reach your financial goals. If you use budgeting software or worksheets, get back in the game there. Decide to cook more at home to save money rather than continuing the restaurant trips. Whatever your routines were, push yourself to continue those habits. Or, start some new ones that will be positively and financially productive