Moneybasics tips for summer spending
Most of us shop around for a good deal when we book a summer holiday, but once we’ve got the tickets in hand, our good intentions are often forgotten. A user poll carried out by www.moneybasics.co.uk shows that while almost two thirds of us set a budget for our holidays, almost 60% admit to going over budget while away. The trick, advises www.moneybasics.co.uk, the independent site backed by Credit Action, Consumer Credit Counselling Service and GE Money that helps people manage their money, is to think about your finances not just when you’re planning your trip, but while you are away and when you get back.
Keith Tondeur, chairman of the www.moneybasics.co.uk advisory panel comments:
"Knowing how much you can afford to spend is a good start to any holiday, but it doesn't stop there. Think about your spending needs before, during and after your holiday has come and gone, and gather as much financial know how so that your holiday not only begins well but has a happy ending."
Pre-holiday financial tips
- Set a budget, but be realistic and don’t be stingy. If you are thinking you may want to learn to scuba dive for example, make room for it in your budget.
- When doing your budget, don't forget those hidden costs such as: travel insurance, luggage, country entry visas, suntan lotion, immunisations, swimwear, medication ,sunglasses, car rental and camera film
- If going to Europe make sure you have an E1-11 form which entitles you to free or reduced cost of emergency medical treatment whilst over there. For more information on this go to http://www.dh.gov.uk.
- Exceeding their overdraft limit or paying credit card bills late, accruing extra charges
- Do research on travel insurance policies, don’t just take the cheapest. Look at the excess that you have to pay, if you claim, and also look at the extent of cover offered.
- Make sure you are covered for all adventure sports on your travel insurance if you are planning some. It’s good to have payment for lost luggage, lost cash and lost travel documents as well. Check if you need to pay upfront for any services.
- If you travel a lot, it may be cheaper to get an annual insurance policy.
- Check the different exchange rates that are on offer, and any charges you may have to pay.
- Pack carefully. Check the weather. If it might turn cold, make sure you have some back up clothes.
- If you are using a debit card to obtain funds, find out if your bank charges for withdrawals when abroad and whether specific machines have to be used.
Holiday financial tips
- Keep track of your spending. If using your debit card, check your account online.
- Diversify your spending. Don’t pile it all onto your credit card. If you can use a debit card, use it.
- Become familiar with the country’s currency, so that you receive the correct change. Watch out especially if you are dealing with US cash which all looks the same.
- Familiarise yourself with the exchange rates. You could be paying an exorbitant amount for something that could cost a lot less, or tricked into buying something that you didn’t realise is too expensive. If in doubt, save the exchange rate in your mobile phone and use your mobile phone calculator.
- Ask the locals who they tip, and by how much. If it sounds too high, it probably is.
- Keep your passport and valuables in a safe place. Carry copies of your passport and credit cards.
Post holiday financial tips
- Getting your post holiday credit card bill can be quite a daunting experience. But if you have kept track of your money it won’t come as such a surprise. Create your own payment plan, and be realistic about how much you can pay back on a monthly basis.
- Many of us never stick to the budget that we’ve made up. So, jot down what you spent this time around, and keep this in mind when planning your next holiday budget.