Don’t Let Your Summer Vacation Affect Your Finances!
by Pattie Christensen, ChFC®, RICP®
For many of us, summer means getting away to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Whether your vacation is a few days at a local beach or a week in Paris, don’t let the dog days of summer affect your finances!
One easy task, especially if you are leaving the country, is to contact your credit card companies and let them know where you are going and when. This can help them avoid mistaking legitimate charges for fraudulent purchases and blocking your use of your cards. Most companies allow you to indicate travel outside of the U.S. on their websites; you can also call the numbers on the backs of the cards.
And, don’t let your budget take a vacation! It’s easy to spend more than normal when we are away and enjoying ourselves. The dinners, the souvenirs, etc., can take their toll on your budget. Why not pull together a “vacation” budget ahead of time, so you’ll have a sense of what your expenses might be? Don’t forget to include those “hidden fees” such as hotel Wi-Fi charges or, if flying, the cost of checking your bags. These items can add up quickly. Remember, you don’t want to be paying for your vacation months later. Have fun, but be mindful.
If you are going away for vacation, you may wish to stop your mail delivery. Nothing says “we are not home” more than a packed mailbox or a pile of newspapers at your door. Set up a few lights with timers and, if possible, have a friend or neighbor drop by your home periodically.
Pattie Christensen is the Church Pension Group’s Vice President, Education and Wellness. She oversees the development and management of financial and health education programs and resources. Pattie has received both the ChFC® (Chartered Financial Consultant) and the RICP® (Retirement Income Certified Professional) designations through the American College of Financial Services.