Today I’ll share with you 5 tips for budgeting out your dream vacation. Traveling for Black Americans is something that is continually increasing, year over year. There are many factors that come into play, in regards to why African Americans have consistently traveled less than their white counterparts. Of course, we know that one of the biggest reasons behind this is the lack of leisure funds for most African Americans. Wealth inequality continues to plague our community up to this day.
In addition to this, the concert of travel has not always been a completely safe activity for African Americans. In fact, New York City Mailman Victor Hugo Green published The Negro Motorist Green Book from 1936 until 1966. This book became the bible of black travel during the Jim Crow era. For us, as African Americans, we have to realize that traveling is still a new concept. Our families are deeply rooted in our communities and many of us don’t explore much outside of those.
Today, as Black Americans we are working to build generational wealth like we’ve never had before in our history. We are rewriting our history and part of this process has included us traveling more and more. In fact, Black Americans spend over 60 billion dollars annually traveling. We understand that we are all at different places in this process of breaking societal chains placed on us.
Many of us didn’t learn how to budget and manage our finances correctly, making traveling seem unrealistic and unaffordable, especially for low-income families. Black Travel Lounge is here to provide you with 6 tips for budgeting for your dream vacation. Never been on vacation before but always dreamed of traveling? Well, why not make that dream a reality?
But I’m here to tell you that your dream vacation is possible, regardless of how much money you make. It all depends on how you prepare and where your money goes. Following the six tips provided in this article will help make your traveling dreams come true!
Track your income and expenses
The first step when it comes to planning for anything with a cost is to budget. You should always be tracking your income and expenses, regardless of if you’re planning for a vacation or not.
In this day and age of advanced technology, there are plenty of apps available on your smartphone or computer that you can use to budget and track your expenses. Budgeting is a fantastic way to see where your money is going and help you decipher which expenses are necessities and a waste of money.
Manage your money, don’t let your money manage you!
Cut back on unnecessary expenses
One of the main reasons it seems like most people can’t afford to take a vacation is unnecessary expenses. Spending your money regularly on things such as eating out, coffee, subscriptions, and other miscellaneous purchases that are considered “wants” rather than “needs.”
Your needs are the basic necessities for survival: food, housing, utilities, clothing, and transportation. When spending money on your basic necessities, you may find that there are areas you can cut back on.
Are you spending too much money on food by eating out?
Do you have a closet full of clothes, yet you’re still shopping for the hottest new outfit?
Instead of eating out all the time, why not meal prep and cook at home? Instead of buying new clothes, how about sorting through your closet and wearing what you already have? Or what about canceling your Hulu subscription if you already have Netflix? These are the small miscellaneous expenses that add up to large amounts of money in the long run. All of this money could be spent on your future dream vacation!
After budgeting, most people notice they have more money coming in than it seems. The problem is, a large percentage of their money is spent on these unnecessary purchases. Cutting back on these purchases and canceling subscriptions will free up a lot of your money. Now when you cut back, to start spending more in our places. It is important to know HOW MUCH YOU SPEND vs HOW MUCH YOU MAKE. So many people have no idea of this, and they just swipe their cards until they receive a decline. You will never be successful in managing your finances until you are clear with where you stand.
Figure out vacation costs
After you’ve been budgeting and cutting back on expenses, it’s time to get to the fun part – planning your vacation.
You’ll want to do some research on the potential costs of your vacation. One important thing to remember is that things usually tend to cost more than we think; therefore, it’s a great idea to estimate costs on the higher end of the prices.
Flights, hotels, food, and activities are factors to keep in mind when doing research. Our Full-Service Travel Agency, OuiTravelTu (we travel too), can assist you with preparing a full itinerary and cost analysis for your dream vacation! This will allow you to know exactly where you stand in order to start planning your saving tactics.
You should be planning for everything, including the unexpected!
After you’ve come up with the total estimated cost for your vacation, think about how much you want to save monthly and how long it will take you to reach this amount.
Increase your income
If you’ve cut back on your expenses as much as possible and you still don’t have enough to save for your vacation, increasing your income is the only solution.
This means working an extra job or starting a side hustle to start bringing in more money. You can work your extra job on the weekends or after work during the evenings, whatever works best for your schedule. For someone people, money is a very sensitive topic. The reality for many people in the following. If you are not living the life you want there is a good chance that you are not making enough money to support yourself. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint, some changes will not happen overnight, but you need to know where you stand and how to start moving in the right direction.
There are several options out there to bring in more cash so that you can be relaxing on the beach of your dream destination in no time!
Create a vacation savings account
Remember when we talked about cutting back on unnecessary expenses? Well, let’s put that money in a separate savings account dedicated to your dream vacation.
And if you’re increasing your income by working another job or side hustle, you can also add that money to the vacation savings account.
Opening a savings account specifically for your dream vacation is a great way to keep your finances organized. This is also a great motivator once you start to see the balance climb.
By now, you know that your dream vacation is entirely realistic and achievable. All it takes is a budget, self-discipline, hard work, and dedication. It can be hard to stick to a strict budget, especially when you first start budgeting. But with progress comes increased motivation to keep you going.
A dream vacation is something that anyone is capable of planning for and is something you deserve!
Now tell us, where do you plan on going for your dream vacation?