As the summer travel season comes to a close many have to prepare their fall finances to pay for their vernal excursions. Here are a few tips for dealing with summer debt.
Over the summer months many people overextend their finances to take advantage of the warm weather and consecutive vacation days off from work. Of course, this often results in spending a little more than your budget can handle or financing your vacation with a credit card. Either way, you come home to bills that you have to deal with once summer ends. Whether you splurged on a room upgrade at a fancy spa or resort or you simply have a large family that breaks the bank every time you fly (but they’re worth it!), you need to have a plan for paying off your summer expenses without sacrificing your daily comforts.
According to credit expert Gerry Detweiler, it is actually somewhat typical for families to spend more than they expect while on summer vacation. She definitely advises tips like these to help you recover and avoid the same financial hazards next year.
First of all, if you did, indeed, charge your summer travel costs to a credit card, have a plan for paying it off as quickly as possible. Do everything you can to make more than the minimum required payment. After all, back to school expenses and the winter holiday seasons are both right around the corner and you might need to use your credit card again.
Secondly, if your budget is already tight and you simply cannot pay the balance off as quickly as you would like you might want to look into transferring the balance to a discounted balance transfer card. Take advantage of promotional and introductory rates that have you saving money with interest rates as low as zero percent for up to one whole year. This will save you a lot of money in interest charges every month and buy you a little more time to make it through the holidays and into the less fiscally straining late winter and early spring months.
Balance transfer could be a good idea. If you have a good credit score, and you can get zero percent interest for six months or a year, it makes sense.
Third, you could consider taking out a personal loan to help pay off your credit cards, especially if you are facing high interest charges. If you have multiple cards, the amount you shell out every month in minimum payments could be daunting. A personal loan could aid you in consolidating your debt which also lowers your monthly payments, making it much easier to pay your bills every month.
Fourth, you can also look for a better card. This is where you should look as you plan ahead for next year’s vacation. Plan to take out a card with better travel rewards or a lower interest for next year’s trip or outing and you could easily save a lot of money on things like airfare, hotel stays, rental cars, amusement park tickets, gas, food, and more.
Finally, it is never too early to start saving for a future vacation. Even if you do not know where you plan to go, who you plan to bring with you, or what kinds of amenities you will require they all cost money. Start setting money aside now so you’ll have a better idea of what you can afford as you start your planning. Saving money is only part of the planning process; booking your flights and hotel rooms as early as possible can also save you a great deal of cash.
- FTC Warns of Prepaid Card Scams – May 23, 2013