How to Stay Within Budget While on the Road

A road.

Is there anything more exciting than planning a road trip with loved ones? As you consider where to go and what sites to see, it’s important to keep in mind that planning one starts with a well-rounded budget. This will help you avoid being stressed about how much to spend when you get there.

But staying on budget is another story altogether. What are the best ways to keep your spending under control while out of town? We have a few ideas.

Tips for Controlling Your Spending While on Vacation

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment – road trips are all about creating fun moments! Therefore, your general goal is simple: try to spend only what you can afford. This can mean avoiding certain destinations and shops with pricey temptations. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Here are some other things you can do:

Set spending limits. This may seem like a no-brainer, but people control their spending on vacation by planning ahead and setting limits. This can include setting a spending limit per day or per week, even per activity or per item.

Involve the whole family. Perhaps multiple family members can set aside a portion of their vacation budget for travel expenses. Even the little ones can be involved, as long as it’s in a way that is fun and age appropriate rather than stressful. Kids like helping out and can even learn basic financial skills by being included. If money is tight, a little awareness may help them appreciate even more all the ice cream cones and trips to the beach.

Avoid hidden (or not so hidden) fees. Some vacationers rely on credit cards to pay for everything, only realizing after they get back that their spending included some unexpected charges.

Use a budgeting app. One of the most helpful steps may be to upload a budgeting app before you leave to use as a tracking tool for staying on top of your spending. That way you can make adjustments to your budget and spending as you go along.

Use Vacation-Friendly Financial Services

What other financial steps can help you stay within budget? A lot – especially as you prepare to leave town. You will feel on top of your game just knowing where your dollars are before hitting the road.

Plan to Use Smart Spending Tools like Prepaid Debit Cards

It’s hard enough to know whether you’re being charged unfair or hidden fees at home, and the last thing you’ll want to think about while away. One way to avoid fees is to use prepaid debit cards instead of credit cards. You won’t accrue any interest and will know just how much you’re spending and how much money is left on your card. Although ATMs can be a lifesaver, be aware that using them frequently can add up, especially if they’re not attached to your bank account.

Check Your Auto Registration and Stickers

Are your tags up to date? The penalty for driving with expired registration in Illinois is $90 – and an extra $20 with a late fee attached. Driving with expired plates also brings a penalty. Updating them can’t be done while on the road, so stop by your local Community Financial Service Center (CFSC) to make sure your plates are up to date and take care of any other license services.

Cash Your Checks Before Leaving

Currency exchanges are also a fast and convenient way to cash that last-minute paycheck and take care of myriad other financial needs, all under one roof.

Visit Your Local Currency Exchange

Having a blast on the road doesn’t have to break the bank. When you stop by your nearest CFSC, you will realize all the other tasks that can be accomplished under one roof.

No matter where you’re headed, if you’re not flush with cash this summer just remember that the best memories will come free of charge and last a lifetime.

At CFSC, we understand the importance of together time with family over the summer, as well as the money concerns of our customers. To set up a prepaid debit card or take advantage of our many financial services, find the nearest CFSC location to you and stop on by.

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