So You Blew Your Vacation Budget, Now What?

RacquelBlogPicIt’s summertime and for many of us that means vacation! Whether it’s amusement parks with the kids, a cross-country road trip, a caribbean resort with the friends, or that long-awaited eurotrip with your love, it’s prime vacation time and we all deserve as many getaways as possible.


Of course, being savvy and responsible you went into your trip with an airtight plan. You scoured the internet for plane tickets, scored a great hotel discount, snagged some Groupons and promised yourself that you’d could have an amazing time while being responsible. You felt ready!


However…cut to the week after you’re back from your trip and you finally look at that bank statement you’ve been avoiding.


You went over your budget. Maybe even WAY over your budget, and the panic sets in.


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First of all, B R E A T H E.


Then start working on forgiving yourself. When we’re out having the time of our lives (and let’s face it, possibly inebriated), we tend to forget about our responsibilities back home. That’s actually the point of a vacation though, to let loose and treat ourselves to what we don’t get enough of on the regular. Whether that be decadent meals, or a poolside massage, or letting the kids have more of what they want, you did what you did and spent what you spent in an effort to really embrace the present. Focus on how fun that was, forgive yourself, and then make a plan.


You know what needs to be done. The credit cards with the highest interest rates need to be tackled first, meals need to be eaten at home, tighten up the budget for a few months when it comes to luxury items, and although it might take a while you will get yourself back to a comfortable place financially. The place you were before vacation.



During the months of rebuilding it’s useless to beat yourself up about it. Instead use that time to think about why you overspent in the first place.


Did you just lose track because your inhibitions were down? Or was it because you’re depriving yourself of too much day to day? Are you extremely stressed out and overscheduled? Because that makes it so much easier to lose control when holidays roll around.  Are you spending more money on items vs. experiences when you travel? Are you travelling to places you don’t actually enjoy so you end up spending more just to try to have a good time? 


Whatever the answers are it’s important to get to the root of your overspending and factor that in when planning your next trip. We all get off track every now and again, but if you take the time to reflect you’ll be able to make wiser spending decisions and also be much more likely to stick to your plan the next time around.


See Related Post: Taking the Shame out of the Money Game