It’s summer and peak season for taking your summer vacations. Booking airfare, hotels, car rentals and excursions can have a dramatic impact on your wallet. Trusted Advisor, Chad Van Horn of Van Horn Law Group, joined Inside South Florida to share tips on how to plan for that well-deserved dream trip without going into debt.
“The first thing you want to do is set a budget for that trip. What you may have booked last year, five years ago or 10 years ago could be double or triple the cost right now,” says Van Horn. “If you don't know the cost you need to get that budget together and make sure that you have enough money or credit to afford that beautiful trip this summer.”
Carrying cash may not be optimal while traveling and some consumers opt to use their credit cards. Fortunately, credit card holders can use their card and still plan wisely.
“The best way to use your credit card is utilize it to pay for everything, but then pay it off every month,” says Van Horn. “Again, that's going to come down to budgeting.”
Travelers on a budget can still opt for luxury and splurge.
“You want to build up that reserve account throughout the years,” says Van Horn. “If you know you do a once-a-year trip with the family, make sure that you're saving money every month, so that you can pay for that trip.”
Budgeting may seem grueling but there is technology that can help you keep your finances on the right track.
“There are many apps out there that will help you with it that I use, I use an old school spreadsheet, maybe I'm a little old school in that the key is getting real numbers,” says Van Horn. “Pull out those bank statements, pull out the credit card statements, get accurate information, and see where you can make cuts where you can add to your savings and pay down those credit card balances.”
There are also tax holidays and exemption periods that you can take advantage of and save.
“In Florida, there are tax exemption holidays. May 28 - June 10 was Disaster Preparedness tax holiday, in which you could have saved 6% on everything,” says Van Horn. “If you are going back to school shopping, looking for children's books, etc., there are tons of exemptions out there. Visit Florida’s state website and they lay out all the tax-exempt holidays.”
For more information, visit VanHornLawGroup.com
This Inside South Florida segment is paid for by Van Horn Law Group.