Budgeting & Saving

Getting Smart About Summer Spending

When the days reach their longest, it's time for summer fun. From vacations to some treat yo'self splurges, there's no more enjoyable time to linger and indulge. But it's true that one of the fastest ways to sour the appeal of the sweetest season is to end it under a mountain of credit card debt. If last Labor Day found you considering how far off-course you'd careened, now's the time to prune your spending plan back from full flower to a manageable and reduced state.

While it's still early in the season, you've probably anticipated some of your major expenses — the big trip you've planned, or a summer camp excursion for your young explorers. But the devil can be in the details when it comes to capturing the total picture of a budget impact: don't forget the additional transportation fares or gas costs to add into your total travel costs, or meals and field trip costs to include in summer camp line items.

No one wants to return from an epic summer vacation with crippling debt — that can suck all the color from great travel memories as fast as they can be made. According to numbers from Experian, many consumers budget for vacation and summer travel, but most still run into unexpected costs — 68 percent, according to findings.

Results showed that credit cards are, far and away, the most popular method of payment for vacation purchases including lodging, entertainment, airfare, and food and beverage, thanks in large part to the extra protections that purchases with them can offer- especially where rewards are concerned.

Before you're packing floaties and consulting foreign rail schedules, make sure that your budget accounts for all the ways you're planning for your money to stretch before you test out its elasticity. There's no shame in keeping things realistic in the near term to avoid an unpleasant financial hangover after summer's come and gone.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
Sign up for helpful tips, special offers and more!
You're signed up!
Our system is undergoing maintenance and will be available again soon.