As winter comes to a close, students are gearing up for the spring season, and most importantly, spring break. Sadly, this break can leave many students broke as prices for activities, travel and food get pretty expensive.
To avoid the pitfalls of spending too much money during your spring break, here are a few things to do before your trip to help your budget.
Before The Trip:
1.Plan your expenses
The first thing you should do when planning ahead is to be inclusive. When you start planning your trip, think of every possible expenditure you may have along your journey, including food, travel and spending money. It may even be helpful to think of your destination and whether or not you will have access to a kitchen or if you will only be able to go out to eat. If a kitchen is available, you can buy groceries and cook there, which will cut down on your costs.
2. Prepare food beforehand
Another alternative if you are not confident in your cooking skills is to ask your parents or friends for help and prepare meals before you leave. This cuts down on time you will spend cooking as well as costs for groceries, because your parents may help you with cooking techniques and the grocery bill.
3. Look for coupons
Another tip to save money is to look for discounts before you go. There are several places that are offering discounts on places to stay, food and activities in certain locations. For instance, Groupon is a great place to look when you want to save on activities in a specific location. You may also want to think about fully discounted trips. For example, during spring break there is a backpacking trip that is being offered to Mercer students for only $100, and it includes travel, food and camping supplies.
4. Sharing is caring
The fourth tip to sticking to a budget is sharing. You can cut costs by sharing a place with family or friends. Bringing more company makes you merrier because the cost of the lodging and the activities will be a little bit cheaper.
5. Save money
The final tip for before you go is to of course save money. This one may seem like common sense, but there are a few extra things you can do to save for your small budget goal so that you can have spending money. For example, instead of loosely dealing with your change after you pay in cash you can put it in a change jar and force yourself to break bills throughout the time leading up to the trip, specifically so you can save it to reach your budget goal.
During the trip:
1. Don’t feel pressure to give gifts
One way to stay under your budget is to remember that “I was thinking of you” souvenirs are acceptable. In other words, remind yourself that regardless of what you buy your friends and loved ones they will still appreciate you.
2. Stick to your budget
The final tip for sticking to your budget is motivation. When on vacation it can be difficult to manage food costs, but try to cook at the destination or limit yourself on how much you will spend eating out. Friends or family can help with this by motivating you to cook or eat at cheaper places. This can be done by simply standing in the kitchen with you or telling you no if you request a more expensive location.
Overall, it is important to remember not to stress over your budget. It is only in place to guide your spending habits and should not dictate the majority of your time on vacation. After all, it is a vacation, and you should make the most out of it.