Use This Dave Ramsey Trick to Keep Your Vacation Spending in Check

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  • Dave Ramsey doesn't like debt.
  • He suggests paying with cash to keep your vacation spending in check.
  • Find out how to follow his guidance and avoid overspending on vacation without carrying around cash.

Dave Ramsey cautions against taking on new debt to take a vacation.

Dave Ramsey is a financial guru that many people look to for advice. He isn't a fan of debt and promotes his favorite strategies to get out of debt. As you can imagine, Dave doesn't believe in taking on new debt to take a vacation. Are you hoping to plan a getaway soon and want to avoid accumulating more debt? Find out what his trick is to keep your vacation spending in check.

Vacations can be fun, but they cost money. If you're planning a getaway, it's a good idea to consider the financial impact of your trip. If you're not careful, you could put yourself into debt.

Dave Ramsey believes you shouldn't take out a loan or use a credit card to pay for your vacation. Instead, he is a believer in using cash.

In a social media post, he writes, "The best vacation is one that doesn't follow you home. Pay CASH." By using cash, you will be more aware of how much money you're spending and can avoid taking on new debt.

Build up your vacation fund trip before taking a trip

I think Dave makes a good point. Using cash to pay for your trip can help you stay on budget. But I think you can follow his guidance without physically using cash during your travels.

Here's how to do it:

  • Start a vacation fund. Open a separate high-yield savings account and start saving for your vacation now. With this method, you can build your vacation fund over time and earn interest on your savings.
  • Before traveling, make sure you have enough money set aside. As you plan out the details of your trip, consider all the costs, including accommodation, transit, food, and activities. Outline a vacation budget and save up before your trip starts. You should also budget and save for unexpected expenses that may come up.
  • Use a rewards credit card. Once you have enough money saved, book your travels with a rewards credit card. You can earn cash back or other valuable rewards on your spending. Plus, you won't be worried about accidentally losing cash while traveling.
  • Pay off your credit card balance in full. After taking your trip, pay your entire credit card balance. Use your vacation fund savings to do this. You won't be charged costly credit card interest if you pay the total balance. Responsible credit card usage like this can help you build your credit.

Yes, using cash to fund your trip is a good idea. You can save up for your vacation costs and ensure you have enough money to fund your travels. And if you don't have enough money to visit a place on your list, consider changing your plans to take a more affordable trip.

But don't ignore credit card rewards, and don't miss out on the chance to establish or build your credit by using credit cards responsibly. It's possible to take a vacation without going into debt as long as you make the right moves.

Should you avoid a vacation altogether?

Are you wondering if you should skip a vacation to reach your financial goals sooner? In his teachings, Dave recommends not taking a vacation until you have a solid emergency fund and pay off all debt, except mortgage debt.

I think you can vacation without taking on new debt -- even if you have some existing debt. You deserve to spend your hard-earned money on a much-needed break. But I think being strategic about paying for your trip can help you better meet your financial goals.

If you're on a tight budget and are prioritizing a getaway, these tips may help you spend less money:

  • Book your trip well in advance. If possible, start planning your trip as soon as you can. You'll likely get cheaper rates if you book months before your trip starts.
  • Get creative. A vacation doesn't have to be a weeklong adventure or an international getaway. Consider alternative trip ideas like a two-night stay at a campsite or a fun staycation in your town or city.
  • Look for deals. Use online tools and pay attention to promotions to save money on travel. You may be able to score cheap flights or get a bargain hotel deal.

As everyday living costs increase, we're all looking for ways to make smarter money moves. For additional tips, check out our personal finance resources.

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