This time of year, many of us are making vacation plans. Whether it’s a humble roadtrip, a luxury cruise, or a simple staycation, it can be tempting to stretch your finances and spend more than you have.

I’m here to tell you not to. And here are 3 reasons:

1. Your interest charges can build up.

There’s a reason so many credit card companies encourage travel spending. They know many families are willing to pay anything for happy memories, even if they won’t be able to pay back the costs in time.

In fact, the cost of interest for a vacation can sometimes equal or surpass the cost for the vacation itself.

Despite what the advertisers say, you don’t need to spend money you don’t have to make good memories. These massive credit companies are hoping you’ll fall for the lie and pay for it later.

2. Your credit score can drop.

When you binge-spend on a big vacation and then have trouble paying it off, it reflects horribly on your credit score. Any time you can’t pay back a charge immediately, it has the power to lower your score.

As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I help my clients improve their credit score even after a bankruptcy, but you don’t want it to come to that if you can avoid it.

3. Your stress can increase.

A vacation is not an investment. You won’t get any money back from a vacation, so it’s extremely likely you’ll be in a worse place financially when you get back than before you left. Who wants to come home from a vacation with even more financial worries and stress? Doesn’t that defeat the point of a relaxing trip?

Don’t put off to tomorrow the stresses of today, especially if, with interest, those stresses will only get worse. Use your money well today by making your vacation fit your budget – not the other way around.

When is it OK to pay for your vacation on credit?

There are some times when it makes sense to pay for a vacation on credit. Namely, if you have the funds in your bank account to pay off the charges immediately and have a deal where you get great travel benefits on credit, like a card that earns you miles or cash on travel purchases.

But I should stress: the money needs to be in the bank and should be plenty on top of your normal budget and savings. It shouldn’t come out of your regular expenses, or you’ll just resort to credit for other normal costs like groceries.

Credit card debt help in Memphis

Credit is very powerful, for better and worse. If you have credit card debt you can’t pay, I’m here to help. Call my office today to get started with a free conversation.