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By Pam Leibfried
Vacations can make sticking to a budget challenging.
If you spent more than you planned on your vacation this summer – or even if you just eat out more now because of your hectic schedule of work and little league games – now is the time to sit down and reassess your budget. It’s not too late to get back on track financially!
Take a look at your spending patterns and see if you can find a way to reduce a few recurring expenses to make up for the amount you overspent on vacation. If you exceeded your budget by $300, for example, cutting just $50 of expenses for each of the next six months will put your budget back in balance. And if you can find $100 of expenses to cut, you’ll have made up that $300 before the weather gets cooler again.
Use this budget rebalancing process as an opportunity to take a good hard look at your spending. After you’ve reallocated your money to get yourself back on track, you may even find that the spending cuts you make are pretty painless. In that case, you could make the changes permanent even after you’ve made up your vacation deficit from the summer. That might enable you to beef up your emergency fund or save some extra money to use on your family’s vacation next summer.