How to financially get back on track after vacation
The following blog post is part of the The Road to Financial Wellness Blog Tour. Over a period of 30 days, the Phroogal team will go to 30 locations to raise awareness about financial empowerment. Today they will be in Boston! Our goal is to help people learn about money by starting the conversation. We understand that local conversations can help bring about national awareness.
Clear water, bright baby blue skies, and kisses from the sun as you recline in your beach chair. You feel a slight breeze brisk over your body, you take a deep breath of thanks, and you can’t believe the beautiful view that you’re taking in is even real. That was four days ago, but now you’re back home to reality with a flood of emails to respond back to and your monthly bills that need to be paid.
I just got back from St. Thomas Virgin Islands the beaches there are breathtaking. If someone from Boston invites me to the beach in Boston I may just laugh because the beaches don’t even compare. Before I left for vacation I had a set amount of cash that I brought with me to spend. Once that cash was gone that was it. I was able to stay within my budget and even bring money back home with me. #winning. It can be quite an adjustment getting back into the swing of things after vacation. So how do you get back on track financially after you just left paradise?
Reevaluate your financial goals
Look over financial goals (If you don’t have financial goals you can learn more about setting goals here) and evaluate your budget to make sure you’re on track with your normal monthly spending. Look to see which of your bills are coming up and make sure you have the money to pay your bills. Hopefully you didn’t spend your bill money on vacation.
“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.” — Fitzhugh Dodson
Don’t beat yourself up if you spent more money on your trip than you planned.
Accept the fact that the trip is over and you had your fun, but now it’s time to get back to your regular routine. If you used a credit card during your trip be sure to log into your account so you can see how much money you’ve spent. Make sure that there were no double charges for your flight or hotel. Look at when the bill is due. The goal is to be able to pay your credit card in full each month, however if that isn’t possible be sure to pay as much as you can the longer you keep paying the minimum amount the more money the credit card company will charge you in interest. I talk more about debt here.
Re-stock your emergency account.
If you pulled out money form your emergency account or from your savings account for your vacation it’s time to rebuild. Make sure the next time you get paid that you are putting money back into your emergency account. Remember your emergency account should have 3-6 months of your living expenses. I talk more about emergency accounts here.
Time to get back to meal prepping, lot’s of water, and exercise
Here at Young Yet Wise I believe that your money, mind, and body are all connected so you want to make sure that all three are in great shape. Your mind is probably feeling relaxed after vacation, but your body may be feeling those late night drinks, burgers, fries, and desserts. You want to make sure that after your trip you drink lots of water because your body is probably filled with sugar and salt. If you were eating clean before your trip it’s time to get back to your healthy lifestyle. Get your meal planning back in order, and hit the gym. It may be scary to step on the scale. It’s all right to get off track every now and then as long as you’re able to adjust and refocus.
It’s ok to tell your friends, and family no.
Once you get back home your friends or even family may want to hang out. Go out to dinner or for drinks or even want you to go on another trip with them. Be smart, I recommend setting up sub saving accounts with different nicknames that have specific goals. If you are on a strict budget this month let your friends and family know. I believe it’s a good idea to share your financial goals with your friends and family because it holds you accountable and it also let’s them know that you have to be focused. I know it may seem hard telling your friends that you can’t hang out with them, but you have to think about your finances. Especially if all vacation all you did was swipe your credit card, and leave waitresses $25.00 tips as if you were balling.
I know it can be stressful coming back from vacation, but don’t think of your budget as a restriction think about your budget being there to help you reach your financial goals. Even if one of your financial goals is to save for another vacation: D Is there anything else you do that helps you get back on track after vacation?