Enjoying Spring Break without Building Debt

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Enjoying Spring Break without Building Debt

Students across Canada, including those who attend accredited online colleges are getting a week off from school during the month of March or April for Spring Break. While it’s a great time for your kids to get a little rest and relaxation before they start their final exams, it’s also a time when you as a parent may build up more debt than your budget can handle. From taking family vacations to simply keeping the kids fed and entertained around your house, Spring Break can bring a lot of debt you didn’t expect to cover in your budget. As a result, your credit card payments go up and you end up struggling just to make ends meet.

Instead of coming home from Spring Break with extra baggage of too much credit card debt, why not make a Spring Break plan that will help keep you on track with your finances. Here are some helpful ideas to ensure you don’t end Spring Break in serious credit card debt:

·         Avoid expensive vacations. Everything from airfare to hotel accommodation is often expensive during peak travel times of the year, including Spring Break. This is especially true if you’re hitting a beach or a ski resort, since this time is usually the start and end of the peak seasons respectively. If you want to travel, book as early as possible and try to find a package that offers a better price. Bundle your hotel and airfare together. Also, try to avoid major Spring Break hotspots, as the rates will typically be higher. If you want to travel for less, consider taking a road trip with your family somewhere closer to home or travel by car to visit family.

·         Give your kids a spending budget. Determine the maximum you want to spend to keep the kids fed and entertained during the week—whether you’re staying at home or traveling. Divide this between your kids and divide by seven to give each child a daily spending budget. They can use that money on food, daily entertainment, or to buy something special, but make it clear that this is the only money they will get. This also helps teach your kids how to budget and how to pick and choose between wants and stay within their spending limits.

·         Plan spring break lunches in advance. Remember during the week you will have one extra meal to feed your kids since they’ll be home for lunch. Plan lunch meals in advance. Shop at the grocery store ahead of time to avoid the extra cost of going to restaurants or getting fast food each day of the break.

·         Find inexpensive things to do closer to home. Check local resources to see if there’s anything fun or special happening in the area either for kids or for the whole family. Your community may have festivals, events, or even daily activities for the kids. You should take advantage of these fun local activities at little to no cost.

If you do end up spending more than you wanted to for Spring Break, don’t wait until the bills come in. But start finding a solution to put your finances back on track. Particularly, if you’re spending money on credit, giving debt more time to build with interest is only going to make problems bigger. Taking care of financial difficulties sooner rather than later ensures that you have as many options as possible available to address your financial troubles. Contact a credit counseling agency and speak with a trained credit counselor. They can review your budget and provide options to help you reduce your debt.

Author Bio:

Connie Solidad is an expert in the field of financial planning. While working for Consolidated Credit she learned the field of finance. She assists her clients with credit counseling and debt management services. When Connie is not working, she loves playing with her two dogs in Tampa, Florida.

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