Budgeting Your Way to a More Enjoyable Vacation

Over the weekend I had a guest post published on Money Saving Mom. I wanted to share it with you all today. It deals with how budgeting (and using cash) made vacationing a much more enjoyable experience for me and 5 steps to budgeting your way to a more enjoyable vacation.

Budgeting Your Way to a More Enjoyable Vacation | How budgeting and using cash made vacations way more fun for this tightwad

Here’s a portion of it:

I tend to be a tightwad — in fact, spending money can cause me pain! This means I can be a difficult person to vacation with. I see dollar signs if we consider doing certain activities on a trip or want treat ourselves to something as simple as ice cream sundaes. Thoughts about what we aren’t going to be able to do with our money come to mind.

However, budgeting has helped me enjoy vacationing so much more. I even get excited about doing activities that cost money. How does that work? Isn’t budgeting supposed to help you not spend money?

Budgeting is about making your money work for you and having it go where you tell it. I’m going to share how our vacation budget works for us and allows me to get away for a few days with my family while actually enjoying myself.

Read the rest on Money Saving Mom!

After you read it, I’d love to know if spending money, even if you’ve budgeted for it, is difficult? Does having the cash in your wallet make it easier to splurge on things or am I the only one? I know it’s illogical, since swiping the card will take the money from the same place the cash already came from, but goodness, mentally it’s way easier for me!

Linking up to these fun parties!

28 thoughts on “Budgeting Your Way to a More Enjoyable Vacation

  1. Keri @ Growing in His Glory

    Great post, Deanna! I admit we never go on vacation unless either my parents or my husband’s are taking us. My parents pretty much foot the entire bill so we can afford to go. Yes, we are uber-cheap. We’re debating right now whether or not to go to Charleston, SC, with my in-laws because we’re trying to save money (my hubby is about to start his own business). We have money saved for entertainment, which is what vacation would fall under for us, but do we want to spend it is the question. My husband is very frugal like you, and I’m not too thrilled about traveling 8 hours in a car with 3 kids under 6 🙂

    We use the cash only system too, and I agree. When I see all those bills, I have to really be careful not to spend all of it in the first couple of days because it has to last the whole week. However, the good thing about not using a card is that once the cash is gone, it’s gone. You can’t keep spending if you don’t have it.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Most of our vacations are to family or else just a night or two at most. Or vacation budget is pretty limited. Thankfully we have parents who take us on vacation as well. It’s always fun to get to spend time with all the siblings. Ha ha, yep, to spend or not to spend is the question. Long trips are exhausting with kids and then add pregnancy on top of it and I feel for you. So true, using cash makes it so you can’t overspend. I’m sure whatever you guys decide will be great. Sometimes it’s nice to get away and other times it’s just a lot of work. 🙂

  2. Becca

    I totally get what you mean about the difference between cash and card! I find cash goes so much faster than the money in my account. I’m going to say that part of it is due to getting coin change. I hate keeping coins in my wallet or purse, so I feel like if I had to add up all the money I’ve lost in my car or under the couch, I would be ashamed! My bank account makes me feel like those coins and pennies actually get to put to use.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Coin change can get annoying. I’ve though it would be fun to have one of those jars to collect the change in for years and then apply it toward something fun. Haven’t done it yet though.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      I think I’m the oddball! It’s hard for me either way, but once I have the cash in my hand it’s much less stressful for me to part with it than sliding the card and having each transaction decrease the numbers in the bank. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Sherri

    Funny I am the opposite as far as cash spending goes. I find it way easier to spend by swiping a card. I hate spending the cash in my pocket as I know that’s what I budgeted for so once its gone, it’s gone. Swiping the card I don’t really think about it.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      My sister says the same things as you! I guess for my brain, when the cash is out the savings/checking account has already decreased where as with the card it decreases each time I purchase something so not playing mini golf keeps those numbers higher. I’m still careful with cash, but I’m more willing to spend it for what it’s meant for. I know I’m an odd one though!

  4. Barb @ A Life in Balance

    We generally don’t do vacations. I feel more overwhelmed by figuring out how to find a place for a family of 7 on vacation than the budgeting part. That said, I started saving for vacation last year. I decided I need to get over the feeling overwhelmed and just do it. I like having the cash and the card. Personally, I prefer to put the bigger expenses on the card just in case something happens. I have no problem coming home and paying off the card immediately.

    I also find it helps me in general to have a list of free or cheap things to do.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Our vacations are typically to see family or trips with my or my husband’s families. I’m one of 8 kids, so lodging was always a big issue for us growing up (and even now when we go on trips with my entire family)! Normally my parents kept things pretty simple and tried to rent condos/houses so we could use the kitchen and fridge. I can see wanting to put the bigger expenses on a card. We just have two kids (and only one of them eats) but when you have lots of kids even a dinner out can cost a good junk or change.
      Free and cheap is always good too. One of my daughter’s favorite things to do on a trip in the fall was going to the fish hatchery and feeding them with the $.25 fish food.

  5. Nicky

    Great article Deanna. You’re tips are very helpful. If I carry cash, I hate to spend it. So the easiest way for me to save is to carry cash and no credit card. Thanks for joining us again on Let’s Get Real Friday Link Party. Please join us again. I’ve shared this on my FB page and pinned on my Family Vacation Board.

  6. Antionette Blake

    I very rarely carry cash and when I do, it seems to stay in my wallet longer, but I love these tips and will definitely incorporate them into my vacation planning this year! Thanks for sharing and linking up again with us at the #WWDParty.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      I think I’m in the minority. Most people have a harder time spending cash on vacation. I’m not a big spender either way, but I guess since the cash is already out and spending it isn’t going to make the bank account any lower, it’s a bit easier.

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