How I Am Paying For My Voyages…Now

Financial Wisdom from Caye Caulker, Belize
Financial Wisdom from Caye Caulker, Belize

As I ponder on the $15,379.53 credit card debt I eliminated in June 2012, I can honestly conclude that 50% of it was due to my travels in and out of the country.  During my psycho spending days, I did waiver between the feelings of uneasiness for charging my trips to the mindset of ‘WHATEVER!!! I DESERVE this, no matter the cost.’ As I found out later, arrogance is costly…literally. Back in the day,  looking at my credit card balances would make me feel defeated even before charging so much on them.  My mentality then was ‘oh well, I already have $1,000 on the card, what’s $200 more?’
Well, those of you who are familiar with your own debt can predict what happens with that stinkin’ thinkin’- $200 turns into $250 which leads to $1,000 until finally, in my case $15,379.53.

While I knew I wasn’t going to stop traveling, I also knew I had to be smarter about my financial decisions before and ESPECIALLY during my voyages. So, I decided to implement these two simple techniques and I must say, my budget has definitely benefited from them both!

-The Travel Fund Fund
Gone are the days of my mind deceivingly convincing me to rely solely on my ‘weak willpower’ to set aside funds from my paycheck for my travels. That deceit ran its course after seeing my credit card balances! I now have my employer deposit a set amount every pay period into a bank account I call ‘The Travel Fund’ Fund. Flights, lodging options, and spending money comes strictly out of it. It truly determines if I stay home or go on.

-The Envelope Method
Those of you who are familiar with financial no-nonsense guru Dave Ramsey probably practice this method or know someone who does. I decided to extend this technique from my everyday spending to my travels. The pictures of the envelopes below are from my voyage to Belize. I stashed money into each of these envelopes based on what I planned on doing while there. I even took it a bit further and estimated how much I could spend on transportation, food, and even tips while there. It really kept me financially focused from overspending and relying on credit.

So tell me, what financially savvy techniques to do you follow when paying for your trips?

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6 thoughts on “How I Am Paying For My Voyages…Now

  1. For my as I cannt resist temptation when it comes to spending sometimes the key has been not to have many credit cards. I have one and one only and when they increase it to an amount I am not comfortable with I throw a strope until they put it back! 😛

  2. I love this post. I am credit card-less. And, cheaply paying off a very low balance credit card. Every one is always telling me that I NEED a CC for perks and emergencies. With my poor spending habits, that idea seems like a terror. LOL. I have three bank accounts. One for my “Vacation Fund”, my “every day fund”, and “one where I just stash money”. Every time I travel someplace I give my best friend my “stash money” ATM card for emergencies – just in case she needs to deposit money for me. It usually works out.

    1. You’re a very insightful person!!! If more of us were honest with ourselves about our spending habits we wouldn’t be in so much debt!!! Every time I opened up a credit line, I would ‘feel’ like I would have self control but my actions proved differently. I know I can get lax with credit card spending, so I definitely have to be more mindful of my actions.

      I do have a travel credit card with decent perks, but my travel fund covers what’s charged on it. It is a bit safer to have a credit card, just in case some nutso decides to steal it and charge unauthorized items on it.

  3. I got out of debt using Dave Ramsey’s plan. It was a very simple program but not easy to follow if you are an impulsive spender!!!
    I have an account set aside for travels too. Good post

    1. I can related. You get all pumped up for the program because it’s so common sense and easy, but the hard part is being dedicated to it mentally.

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