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Interim results for January-September 2017.  Link to report and audiocast. 

Have some fun in the sun – just don’t burn your finances

The Easter holidays are nearly here and the summer vacation is not far away. The promise of holiday travel is very tempting, but make sure you keep your finances under control.

For many of us, going on holiday means travelling. And whether we go during the Easter break or the summer vacation, travelling can cost a lot of money. But what if your savings account is empty? You still feel like you’ve been working hard and you deserve a trip away. And you don’t want to be the one left at home staring at pictures on Facebook of your friends enjoying some beach paradise. So what do you do?

For some, borrowing to finance a holiday is a serious option. According to Intrum Justitia’s European Consumer Payment Report 2016, 13% of those surveyed think it is okay to take out a loan or use a payment plan to fund their trip.

While most of those asked (67%) wouldn’t consider borrowing, the remaining 19% have no firm opinion. It’s also notable that men are more inclined to borrow money than women, and more young people than older people think it’s okay to borrow money to pay for a holiday.

Starting to save up well in advance of the holidays is of course the best way to avoid borrowing for a vacation, but if that isn’t possible then it is important to bear in mind the following:

  • 1) Get your house in order and pay any bills that are due before your holiday. If you leave them unpaid, borrow more money and go off on holiday, things will be worse when you get home.
  • 2) Make a budget for your vacation and stick to it. Work out how much you can spend every day and keep to that amount. You’ll still enjoy yourself, especially if the sun is shining.
  • 3) Budget for after the holiday period to make sure you can pay back the loan. Remember too that paying off a credit card in instalments can be more expensive than other loans.
  • 4) Look at cheaper travel options. Perhaps you can stay with friends in another country, use low cost air travel, or even explore the possibility of swapping houses with people in other countries who want to visit your homeland.

Do enjoy your holiday, but make sure you’re not paying for it long after your tan and the memories have faded.