Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tips On Planning a Vacation & Being Frugal

My guest blogger today is Bethany. I have been following her blog for quiet sometime now. She is such a sweet woman of God. I know you will enjoy her today.

We still have a few weeks left of the vacation season for 2013, but now is the time to be thinking about a 2014 vacation.  Lately I’ve seen pictures on Facebook from all sorts of family vacations.  Several have gone to Disney Land or a cruise for a week while others have stayed closer to home for a couple of days away.  

 Most families I know enjoy going on some type of vacation.   Being someplace different from your regular home is a nice way to relax and make happy memories together, doing things you normally don’t get to do.   I still remember vacations we took when I was a child. I remember that some of the best memories were the vacations closest to home out at a State Park not far from our house.  We went to a different place each year while my husband’s family always went to the same beach for their vacations.  There are many ways to enjoy a vacation but one big consideration is your spending.   

Being wise about spending is something that is extremely important to me.   It is NOT wise to put your vacation expenses on a credit card.  How can you use wisdom when it comes to planning a vacation?  

 The most important thing I think is to plan ahead.  Start thinking now about where you want to go next summer and what is realistic for your family budget. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about your expenses going into the planning too.  

 We have gone through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and since then have used an envelope cash system for part of our expenses.  Each time my husband gets paid I divide cash into various envelopes (that could be a whole different post).  “Vacation” is one of those envelopes. Every pay period I’m putting back a little money for the vacation.  It isn’t a lot but it does add up over the year.  I have found this works well for us.  The money in that envelope is only used for vacation.  I don’t go into that envelope to buy other stuff for the house or family.  Decide what will work for your budget.  

 Let me give you an example.  You may choose that you could set aside $40 per pay period, which would be $480 in a year.  This may be too much for you right now with your other expenses. Realize that it may take longer than a year to save enough money for a vacation and that is okay.  Set a goal though and be dedicated to working towards that goal.  Something else to remember is that if you get the entire family on board you can find ways to raise money together for the trip.   For example, you could have a garage sale or take some clothes to a consignment sale.  It is a great thing to work together as a family towards a goal of a vacation together.

 Second, I’d urge you not to compare your vacation to the vacations of others.  You must make the decision to do what is right for you and your family without trying to go to the spot it seems that everyone else is going if you can’t afford that. Be content and God will honor your wise spending.    
There is much more I could write about vacation and vacation planning.  I just really wanted to encourage you with this bit today to be planning now for the future.  A vacation is a great way to make memories as a family that will last a lifetime.  But also remember it is no fun if you put it on a credit card and do things you can’t really afford.  Start planning now so you can enjoy your time away next summer without worrying about the expenses when you get home.

I want to thank Bethany for guest posting on my blog. She had some great tips! We have been saving up for our upcoming vacation next month. I love the envelope idea! Don't forget to hop over to her blog and check her out. She is such a sweetheart.

Bethany has been married for 12 amazing years to her college sweetheart that is her best friend.  They have been blessed with one son,Caleb,who is 8 years old. They've had two miscarriages, one in January 2003 and one in April 2013. She loves reading, singing, writing,volunteering, blogging, being a stay at home Mom, and spending time with her boys. One of her favorite verses is Matthew 5:16--"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven." Bethany blogs over at Raindrops & Rainbows.

1 comment:

  1. I have 'known' Bethany for many years now through our blogs. She has such a caring heart. When I requested prayer for my mother-in-law she wrote and asked me if it would be OK to send her a card. She's like that; always encouraging. She has wonderful wisdom to share with others and is doing a fabulous job raising her son Caleb.


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