Published on May 15th, 2014 | by Pete1
Summer money checklist: How to get your finances in check before the holidays
With the summer holidays approaching, it is extremely important that you commit to ensuring that your finances are in check before you jet off. Here, we’ve put together the perfect checklist to use to ensure your finances are up to scratch before the holidays.
Build a holiday fund
Before you book your holiday, set a target of the amount needed for your trip including your spending money and travel insurance. Divide the desired sum by the amount of months available and put aside a set amount each pay day.
Resist the urge to spend the saved money on anything else. Many travel agents allow for you to pay the holiday in instalments leading up to your holiday so why not make payments whenever you’ve saved a substantial sum to remove any temptation to splash the cash elsewhere?
Consider a loan
Another effective method of paying for your holiday is to take out a loan which can be paid back in manageable monthly instalments. This allows you to pay for your holiday upfront and manage the costs over a more manageable length of time – potentially paying off the loan after your trip.
With firms such as Buddy Loans, you can take products known as guarantor loans for between £500 and £7,500. This can be repaid over a set period of time (12-36 months) and you don’t need any traditional capital to secure the loan. Instead, you just need to have someone stand as guarantor – this can be a friend, family member, work colleague or anyone who is willing to vouch.
You can find out more about how these loans work at buddyloans.com.
Plan your expenses
Make a list of all the essential items required for the trip and set a realistic budget. Do not divert from the list or use money from your holiday fund unless it is absolutely vital to your holiday.
Book cheap travel insurance
Travel insurance is a significant factor that allows for medical care whilst you are out of the country and even when you are still in the country. Ensure you carry out research to secure the best deal for your requirements. Read the small print to make sure the insurance covers you for the trip you want and check with your bank as many savings accounts offer travel insurance as one of their customer rewards.
Check exchange rates before departure
To ensure you are getting the best exchange rate for your money you should always pre-order or exchange your currency before you travel as airport charges are usually high. You should also ask your bank what the rate will be at cash machines in your destination as you may need to withdraw additional money.
Considering prepaid travel cards is another option you can look into if you want to secure a particular exchange rate and limit the likelihood that you’ll need to rely on debit or credit cards whilst away.
Book off-peak holidays
What time of year you travel has a significant impact on how much your holiday will cost. Peak seasons are very expensive so if you can be flexible with your dates then you’ll scoop a better deal.
If you can’t avoid peak-time holidays then book as far in advance as possible to secure early bird deals or take the opposite approach and chance your luck with last minute bookings when you’ll need to be flexible with your choice of destination and exact holiday dates.
Even choosing to fly at more unsociable hours rather than peak time can help bring the overall costs down – and potentially give you more holiday time in your destination if you opt for an early morning departure!
All packed and ready to go
Using this checklist to get your finances in order before departing on your holiday will ensure that you are able to enjoy your time away without worrying about the bottom line of your bank balance. After all, nobody wants to return from a week on the beach to discover their finances are as red as their tan lines!