When deciding whether you can afford a family holiday twice a year, look at your income and current expenditures. After all, you don’t want to come home after a relaxing time abroad only to be faced with credit card bills you can’t pay off.
Rob Howland, a senior financial planner at AAM Advisory, says that most people spend what they earn every month and save on an ad-hoc basis, if or when they do have anything left over.
“But by prioritising saving as something that must be done each month, like paying rent or tax, you’re much more likely to reach your personal and financial goals, and still be able to enjoy life along the way.”
To help you achieve your twice-yearly family holiday goal, set up a special savings account for it. Work out how much you need to save for each trip and put aside a certain amount every month until you have enough. This will help you stay within budget so you’re not saddled with debt when you return home.
Family holidays can also test your patience, so ask yourself if you can afford the emotional stress of twice-yearly trips.
To minimise problems, keep the family holiday simple and relaxing. Says Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist at Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness: “It’s your family’s time to have fun, bond and recharge, so plan the break carefully and try to enjoy yourself while you’re away. Worrying and fussing defeat the purpose of a holiday, which is to rest and have a good time.”