Priority OneBy LAUREN LITTLE,
Special to the Sun
School is out, and summer is upon us. It’s time to let loose and have some fun. So, what can you do this summer to make sure you don’t end up with a financial hangover, wondering where the money went or how the credit card bills got so high? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your summer vacation without derailing your finances.
Make a plan
You don’t have to rule out spontaneity entirely, but having an overview of when and where you’d like to go, what you’d like to do and how much it will cost gets you started off on the right foot.
Set up a ‘fun fund’
With a plan in place, you can start saving for your trip. Creating a separate “fun fund” helps cement why you’re saving the money.
Know your limits
Set a daily spending budget for your trip and don’t exceed it. Include what you’ll spend on food, activities, lodging and anything else that might come up. It’s more important to be realistic about what you’ll spend and to save for it than it is to convince yourself you won’t spend much and go two or three times above what you budgeted.
Once you’ve settled on how much you’ll spend, stick to it. It’s easy to talk yourself into not counting little purchases like a coffee here or mouse ears there, but those little purchases add up and can have a significant impact on your vacation fund. Give yourself a three to five percent buffer in your budget for the “Oh, that’s so cute” and “Man, I just need to have that” moments - we’ve all had them.
Most of us aren’t going to plan a vacation down to the minute, but with money saved up in a “fun fund” and a cap on your daily spending, you can enjoy yourself and avoid maxing out your credit cards.
For more information, call or visit PriorityOne Bank…601-414-2100. Located behind Soulshine Pizza Highland Colony Parkway.
Lauren Little is assistant vice president - branch manager of PriorityOne Bank.