Who wants to talk about financial stress during summertime? You have been working hard since you have been going back to the office a couple of days each week. And the beach or the mountains are calling your name. Can’t you see it on the horizon? Are you eager to pack up and go or fear taking a vacation to your bank account?
If you are what some call “an average American,” about two of five of you (42%) have gone into debt to fund a summer vacation. Much as we have been teaching our clients, that creates Acute Financial Stress. AFS is an actual condition that affects millions of people who want to go on vacation but can’t or even want to go.
Renowned psychologist and data scientist Dr. Galen Buckwalter of psyML explains some of the physical pain created by the mental threats of debt.
If you have experienced the nagging collector calls, the pain is familiar. Have you seen a stack of bills piling up and no income to stop it? You know the painful effects of financial stress and emotional anguish.Dr. Galen Buckwalter, CEO of psyML
If you deserve a summer vacation and don’t want to pack up all that financial stress in a carry-on bag, we have a few tips that could help you do just that:
Send Your Financial Stress on a One-Way Trip
Budget the Trip
Most people go on vacation to forget the stresses of home, but if you want to send your financial stress away for the summer, know what you plan to spend in total and per person. It’s not enough to consider that number. Stick to it. If you manage your debt accordingly, you can enjoy your vacation knowing there will still be money in the bank when you get home.
Prioritize the Bills
You already know what notices are coming on the following credit card bill once vacation is over. The usual suspects are transportation, lodging, and clothes. However, when all that totals up, you may be tempted to pay a portion or even skip a bill. Don’t do that. Often, that is the first step toward debt resolution. We want to help you not do that – your payment history is a priority. Pay what you can, and call for help regarding the rest. Your mental health will thank you.
Protect the Money
Can you imagine being on vacation and becoming a victim of identity theft while you’re out drinking juice out of a pineapple and glazing like a baked ham under the sun? Financial stress would go through the roof. Do the little things to protect your money like using the hotel safe, lock up your valuables, monitor your account daily, and protect your PIN when swiping a card. All those little things could help you withstand being victimized against a big thing.
Copy Your Efforts
For lack of a better phrase, “life happens.” You never know when or where you could lose a card, a key, or other important information. Make a copy of all of it – cards, driver’s license, health cards, social security. Keep that back-up always protected in your luggage, the hotel safe, on your phone, or in a cloud drive. This could become the most effective defense for you having a good vacation or getting a tremendous amount of financial stress.
Plan for the Best
Align everything you do on vacation with that budget. Some bank accounts have limits on debits, or credit accounts freeze when you spend a specific limitation in 24 hours. Contacting your financial institution or creditors could be a saving grace for financial stress while on vacation. Set your limits, learn the details, and ask all the questions you can.
Now that you have five surefire tips to help prevent financial stress from taking a front seat on your road trip, enjoy your summer vacation and fight the temptations to get into debt for a few days of fun. You’ll thank us later.