Memorial Day Weekend is a time when planning a family trip, for memories that will last forever, falls on the head of the household. However, planning Memorial Day finances for a vacation requires smart money moves, especially if on a strict budget. One of the best ways to plan for a vacation is to use a budget calculator, because looking at the hard numbers can help so many with the hard truths of planning.
Stressed about money? Going through that stack of receipts on your work desk? Have no fear! Here is how to financially plan for Memorial Day vacation:
1. Request Increases to Your Credit Card Limits
Credit card limits are set by creditors based on something called a “credit utilization ratio.” Essentially, it’s a ratio devised by your credit card balance divided by your overall available credit limit. According to US News, “So, if you owe $5,000 and have a $10,000 limit, your credit utilization ratio is 50 percent. But if your credit limit increases to $20,000, your credit utilization ratio suddenly drops to 25 percent.”
The biggest way creditors review and qualify credit cards users for a credit limit increase is part of qualifying you for a credit limit increase is by income. Raising your income in your account based on a recent raise, or an end of year bonus, increases your chances of being approved.
2. Update Your Important Financial Documents
Ok let’s get the morbid and somewhat subdued advice out of the way so we can get back to more fun topics. This tip from AdvantagesCCS involves updating your will and other financial documents, in the event of your untimely death while on vacation. “Make sure your Will and beneficiary information are both updated and correct. Protect both your loved ones and your money by keeping your beneficiary information updated on all of your insurance policies and investments. An updated Will can guarantee that your property goes to who you intend it to upon your death.”
We’d like to focus on the ways to make the most of your finances for the purpose of family time enjoyment, but it always helps to have a small reminder of always being prepared. Onward!
3. Check Your Credit Reports
This one helps with any unexpected disruptions in your credit card purchasing, meaning you may think twice about that extra expense if you notice a recent change in your credit reports. Just remember: It’s better to be reasonable with spending while knowing your credit limitations, rather than push that extra bit past your comfort zone for the sake of one weekend.
Here at GoldenFS we have tools to help with this, including a debt calculator and a summary of how debt relief programs work, and how you can apply. We also have a new tool called a Snowball Payment Calculator. Start by entering your budget, then learn how to make snowball payments to free up savings while eliminating your total debt.
4. Pack Wisely for Travel
Especially if traveling by plane, this subtle reminder always seems to be relevant in hindsight. Setting reminders for yourself about only carrying essentials is the real win here.
Just about every airline these days charges an additional bag fee for checked bags, and as Believing in a Budget puts it, “Don’t underestimate the costs of bringing extra unnecessary luggage when you travel. Lately, when I travel I’ve been packing with a more minimalist mindset to avoid bringing a ton of stuff I never end up using.
5. Respect the Memory of Fallen Heroes, While Taking Advantage of Sales?
Just about every American holiday now has a retail incentive narrative running beneath it in a not-so-subtle way. While Memorial Day is a time to remember those who fought for our freedom, it has also become an opportunity for big box brands to offer sales and discounts on their inventory.
According to NerdWallet, Memorial Day Weekend can also be the best time to capitalize on sale prices as Spring shifts into Summer, with many retailers looking to clear out winter inventory, and also generate excitement on summer wear with flash sales. If you’ve taken the steps detailed above, perhaps you are in prime position to take advantage!
Be smart, have fun, and take some time to review your finances this Memorial Day! As always, for more assistance with financial planning and recovery, speak with an IAPDA Certified debt relief counselor at 858-605-6196 for free.