Stacy B. Miller Author
Dave Ramsey has an honest answer to this question. He says, it’s best to skip vacations when someone is in debt or trying to get out of it. Dave didn’t go for any trip for 10 years when he was in debt problems. His logic is simple. He had to pay many bills and feed his children.
You need to spend a fraction of your paycheck on vacation spending. But it shouldn’t break or trample your financial foundation.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t get into financial problems again due to your vacation.
Can you think about a vacation when in debt?
If you’re in debt, it is better to avoid going for a vacation since it means extra expenses. Unless, your employer or someone else sponsors the trip, it isn’t wise to go for a vacation. Since you’re in debt, this means you’re in a financial crunch. Your main aim should be to pay off your debts instead of going on vacation.
You have to save up as much as possible. First, you need to pay extra amount to get rid of your debts – doesn’t matter if you want to pay back your creditors through debt avalanche method or debt snowball method. If you have decided to enroll in a debt settlement program, then you have to set aside money for the fees too.
Second, you can’t touch your emergency fund to go on a vacation. This is an absolute no. This fund is to cover your emergency expenses like car repair, a leak in the water pipe, etc.
Third, there are few other expenses you can’t ignore. You can’t stop contributing to retirement savings accounts because it secures the golden years of your life.
What is the other way out?
Although it is advisable to clear all your debts before traveling, but there are a few people who need a break in a year. They can’t put off their travel dream for a long period. Experts suggest them to plan a debt-free vacation in these ways:
1. Decide the tenure of the vacation
2. Decide the spot
3. Calculate the cost of transportation and hotel reservation
4. Create a budget for food and shopping
5. Calculate how much one needs to save to implement this plan
It is difficult to save money for a vacation when someone is in debt. But, it isn’t impossible. First, one should tackle the high-priority debt. Next, one should start saving for vacation. The plan is already there. One just needs to follow it.
One should avoid going to an expensive tourist spot, no matter how tempting it is. If someone can afford a smaller getaway or a road trip, then so be it.
There is yet another way to pay off debt and travel. You can get a job abroad. Make sure you choose a job that pays you enough to cover your debts and visit tourist destinations.
If none of these options work for you, then enjoy cheap fun activities with your family instead of going somewhere expensive.
It is all about priorities. Five years back, I had $30,000 consumer debt. I chose to repay debt over travel. I knew if i sacrificed, I could afford to pay off debt within 1 and half year. The sacrifice was worth it.
I spent a few weekends at friends’ houses during that phase. So, I wasn’t bored. Besides, my sacrifices paid off. I was debt free in just 6 months, much earlier than what I contemplated.