No matter what scientists say about the actual start of summer, for many people, Memorial Day is the beginning of the summer season. Lots of magazines and TV shows will tell you that if you haven’t already planned a summer vacation, it is not too late. This is certainly true and you may be able to snag a last-minute deal. However, a financial advisor might caution you to look before you leap. This does not mean that you shouldn’t get a vacation but that you shouldn’t ignore the principles of financial planning as you contemplate your summer getaway.
Can you afford the vacation of your dreams or a vacation? Taking a break and relaxing can be very beneficial and it can help you be more productive, so you should get some kind of respite from your daily responsibilities. What is not required is flying or driving far away for a specified amount of time and spending money on dining out several times a day.
If you haven’t already set aside money or are trying to reduce debt and increase your savings, look for alternatives such as: day trips, weekend visits regional destinations rather than longer stays overseas, accommodations with kitchen facilities, and house swaps.
Can you really afford a “staycation?” If your staycation involves relaxing at home, not worrying too much about work or household chores, and a few evenings out, you probably will not endanger your budget or your financial goals.
If, however, your staycation involves living in your hometown the way you would if you were out of town (minus the costs of a hotel stay), you may be in danger of overspending. It is easy to overspend at home while thinking that you are saving because you stayed in town.
You don’t want your efforts to relax now to cause financial strain later. Working with a Fee-Only financial planner gives you to tools and guidance you need to stay on course to meet your financial goals and also treat yourself occasionally.