- Summer can be hard on your wallet.
- Summer travel in particular can be costly.
- Finance guru Suze Orman has some advice anyone can use.
Could these tips help save you money?
Summer can be an expensive time for many people. That's especially true if you'll be traveling over the warmer months while kids are out of school and many vacation destinations are in prime season.
The good news is there are ways to enjoy this season without spending a fortune. In fact, finance expert Suze Orman has some summer spending tips that you may want to follow in order to avoid busting your budget -- or even going into credit card debt. Here are Orman's suggestions.
1. Avoid buy-now-pay-later offers on airline tickets
Orman's first suggestion is to make sure you are paying in full for any airline tickets you plan to buy if you are going on vacation this summer.
As she explained, some airlines now allow you to finance tickets over time using the buy-now-pay-later model that has become increasingly popular online. But she advises against doing that for a few reasons.
"I do not like BNPL. It’s a sign you are not living within your means," Orman warned. She also went on to explain that, "Airline BNPL deals can be extra costly as they typically charge interest from the get-go."
While this doesn't mean she believes you should stay home and not go on a vacation, Orman urges limiting your traveling to places where you can afford to pay for an airline ticket in full upfront instead of covering the costs using a payment plan.
2. Set a budget for summer vacation spending
Orman also advised setting a budget for traveling if you will be going away over the summer. "Given the prospect the economy may not stay strong as we head into the Fall and Winter, what I also want for you is to not have regrets six months from now about your overspending," she said.
To avoid making decisions that you later wish you hadn't, she suggests picking less-expensive lodging or flights or spending less on food while you are away.
3. Don't splurge on everything -- make tradeoffs
Another tip Orman offered for affordable summer travel is to find ways to make your vacation cheaper by being selective in what you splurge on. For example, she suggested staying in lodging with a kitchen so you could cook breakfasts and lunches at home and then have a more expensive dinner out.
4. Find free ways to entertain kids
Finally, Orman warns not to blow your budget trying to make summer enjoyable for your children, but instead to find free or low-cost activities such as camping in the backyard.
"Inexpensive fun activities should be the core of your summer fun plan for the kiddos. And then you can carefully add in other treats—movies, a day at the water park, a special trip into town to visit a museum, etc.—that will cost more, but will fit into your overall summer spending plan," Orman advised.
She even suggested allowing older children to plan a day of low or no-cost activities each week so they can be involved in the process and do things that are fun for them.
Omran believes following these tips is especially essential this year because debt has become more expensive due to the federal reserve raising interest rates. She's right that you don't want to find yourself borrowing to pay for summer fun only to get stuck paying interest and struggling to afford your bills all year long.
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