Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Nitty Gritty of Vacation Budgeting

I am currently on the end of a 5 day vacation. Now that it time to head back home I am already thinking about things that need to be attended to. One of these things is figuring out the total cost of our trip. In doing so I know I still need to develop a better system to budget for incidentals during the vacations.

Generally when budgeting for vacations we surmise a figure that includes fixed costs like airfare, hotel, and rental car, if needed. But I don't have a good way to include gifts, food and dining, since I just deduct these items from the regular monthly budget envelopes.

This doesn't work well since we usually eat out more while on vacation than normal life back home. So this throws off the dining category. The best way to address these discrepancies is to budget for a vacation as a total cost.

Another issue is that we don't currently have a budgeting category each month to set aside for vacations. One of my goals for the spring is  to do some spring-tweeking to our budget. One budget envelope that needs to be added is vacations. Creating this as a formal part of our budget should help in making a better plan for while on vacation.

How do you budget for vacations and trip? Do you usually stay on budget or go higher/lower?

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