While you are paying off multiple credit cards, you need to be prepared to make certain sacrifices. This is especially true if you have a limited income. You need to squeeze your debt payments on top of the usual monthly expenses that you make.
For some people, they do not have problems with this. But for some, they have to go through extreme measures to pay off credit card debt.
One of the measures is to stop going on vacation.
We all need to relax every now and then. But we can do that from anywhere. So taking a vacation is not really a necessity. No matter how much you like to have one, if it comes down to choosing between a vacation or paying off multiple credit cards, then the latter should be your priority.
But is it really impossible to go on a vacation while you are paying all your credit card debts?
It is not impossible. However, you need to know your priorities. If you really want to squeeze in a relaxing vacation, make sure that it is done without compromising your debt payments.
How to go on a vacation while paying off multiple credit cards
If there is a will, then there is a way to go on a vacation without jeopardizing your debt payments. Here are some tips that you can use to make this happen.
Book everything in advance
There is nothing like early planning to help you find great deals. Be on the lookout for travel fairs or promos. Make a list of all the things that you can arrange early. For instance, book the airline tickets, accommodations, and even your itinerary ahead of time. Since you are doing this early, you have a lot of time to do your research. Find the places that you want to go to and see if there are budget-friendly hotels near it. That way, you save money on transportation. You can simply walk to wherever you want to go to.
You can also research the inexpensive activities. This will help minimize the overall cost of what you will spend. It is also a good idea to time your travel during the off-peak season. That way, the prices will be lower compared to the peak season.
Save up for it in advance
Before you finalize your bookings, get the total amount. You will then aim to save up for all of the expenses in advance. Do this while you are paying off multiple credit cards. It will be tough, but you are doing this in advance anyway. It should be easier for you to accomplish this since you can save a little at a time.
According to a survey, more than 6 out of 10 Americans who planned their spring break vacation paid for it in cash. If they can do this, you certainly can do the same. In the same report, it was revealed that those who used their credit cards expected to charge more than $1,000. You can avoid this amount if you take the time to save up for your vacation.
Use cash while on vacation
The best way to avoid making your debt situation worse is to pay for your vacation in cash. After all, that is the reason why you are saving up for it in advance. Imposing a cash-only rule is ideal if you are paying off multiple credit cards – regardless if you are traveling or spending back home.
Some people might want to maximize the rewards on their credit cards. This is okay but you need to think about this carefully. Make sure that you still save cash for the expenses you will make. Pay for it using your card but keep the cash so you can pay your balance in full when the billing statement comes. That way, you get the rewards and still stay out of debt. It is important to avoid adding to what you owe since you are already paying off a balance on the credit cards that you will use.
Secure your credit card payments
Finally, you need to make sure that you will continue to pay for your credit card debts. That way, you continue to make progress. When you decide on the amount that you will save for your vacation, take into consideration your debt payments. Make sure you leave it untouched. If you have to cut back on anything, it should not include your monthly debt payments. Look at other expenses and see if you can live frugally – at least temporarily.
Tips to save for a vacation while paying your credit cards
Saving up for a vacation while you are in the midst of paying off multiple credit cards is challenging. But there are things that you can do to help make it easier.
Revise your budget plan
Start with your budget plan. All it takes is to plan for it properly so you can maximize your limited resources. According to reports, 1 out of 5 Americans spends more time planning their vacation compared to managing their finances. It is probably easier to do so you should not have a problem with this. Of course, if you have debts, you should work on both. Manage your finances and plan your vacation. Both will have to be worked on through your budget plan. That way, you can consider what your income can afford. Make a list of your other expenses and see what you can cut back on. That way, you can comfortably save for your vacation fund and pay off your debts.
Create a savings plan
When you have revised your budget plan, you should create another plan. This time, it will be your savings plan. This will determine the amount that you have to save and how long you have to complete it. Like, if it is the start of the year and you want to travel in December, you need to make 12 contributions – 1 each month. Get the amount that you need for the vacation and divide it by the number of contributions left. See if you can afford it. Make adjustments to the other expenses in your budget plan. Just make sure you do not touch your debt payments.
In this savings plan, make sure that the monthly contributions will be clear and a part of your budget. And commit to putting money in your savings. If you want to go on that vacation, you need to stick to the plan.
Get a temporary side gig
If your budget still falls short and you cannot meet your saving goals, you might have to get a side gig. Increasing your incomes is a great way to get the funds that you need to go on a vacation. In fact, if you know of a side gig that pays well, you can leave your budget alone. Just do the side gig a couple of times and keep your hands off whatever you earn. That money will be strictly for your vacation. And if it is possible, you can go the extra mile. Do a couple more of the gigs so you can use the money in paying off multiple credit cards.