Whether you’re staycationing or heading abroad (red and amber lists be damned) this year, there’s one thing you’ll need to think about: money.
Particularly if you’re in a group, it can be awkward navigating who pays for what, how to split the bill, and how to ensure your money’s protected while you’re travelling.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to spend wisely and avoid any conflict between pals.
Sasha Evans, Money Expert at MoneySuperMarket has shared with Metro.co.uk her money tips for holidays and beyond, to ensure your relationships last as long as your memories.
Sasha says: ‘Being organised will help you relax and look forward to your break instead of feeling any unnecessary panic or stress.
‘From booking the initial trip and securing this via a deposit to making payments on time as you count down the days until you get away – if you’re in charge of booking the trip then make sure you’re not left out of pocket.
‘Unfortunately, flaky friends can be prone to dropping out at the last minute so consider pooling the cost of the holiday fairly. You can share the responsibility by using a PayPal money pool or a Collection Pot online kitty.’
Use a credit card
‘Booking any trips by using a credit card is recommended and is especially important if you’re in a situation whereby you don’t receive the service that you have been promised or expected to receive,’ says Sasha.
‘This means that under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, you will be able to claim for any monetary value over £100 up to the value of as much as £30,000. There are plenty of balance transfer products to choose from.’
She advises using a comparison site to see which is the best option for you.
Sort out how to split the bill
Sasha says: ‘Often, it can fall to the more “organised” member of the group to manage the cost of the trip and to sort the bills when you’re eating out at restaurants and enjoying excursions.’
As you may have done during the booking process, you should think about using tech to do the hard work for you, as well as delegating responsibility.
‘Having more than one of you involved can mean you make better decisions whilst sharing the responsibility fairly,’ says Sasha
‘You could even suggest opening up a kitty or creating a savings pot if you all use a digital bank or app that lets you do this. This works well as it means you can all contribute an equal amount to the pool or, donate a total that you feel comfortable with.’
Budget for each day
‘Budgeting for each day by forecasting what you can afford to spend when you’re exploring will also give you a clear idea of how much money is left in your holiday fund,’ Sasha says.
‘If you’re going abroad then don’t forget to shop around for your travel money as well to ensure you’re getting the best exchange rate for your pounds.’
Set repayment goals
There can be situations where someone hasn’t paid you back, and you’re anxious about being left out of pocket.
If this is the case, Sasha says: ‘Firstly, start by assuming good intentions and politely remind them of the money that they haven’t paid you back.
‘It’s important to not get worked up as people can be very caught up in their own business and become forgetful.
‘Give the person the benefit of the doubt and approach them with a neutral tone.’
She adds that, if you’ve asked multiple times and not received your money back, you need to acknowledge this and ensure they know it’s become ‘a thing’.
‘Setting repayment goals or deadlines for instalments may also be helpful but being direct and communicating clearly is key,’ she says.
Avoid FOMO if you’re at home
Even if you’re not the one on holiday, it’s still hard to ignore the 18 months of relative solitude we’ve had and try not to get too green-eyed.
The fear of missing out – or FOMO – can cause you to overspend to try to catch up, or generally just feel bad, which is not a summer vibe.
Sasha says: ‘Stepping away from social media or sticking within areas that you feel comfortable can help to combat FOMO.
‘Another way to handle FOMO is by limiting your screen time and doing things that make you feel good, even if this is as simple as going for a brisk walk.’
Try to send texts, voice notes, or videos to people you miss, just so they know they’re thinking of you.
Additionally, Sasha says: ‘Why not use this time to help you explore hobbies that you never have before or do and explores things that don’t break the bank?’
So, if you’re thinking of venturing to Cornwall or Capri, it’s best to have an open and honest conversation about what’s affordable before getting carried away. If something is niggling you or you’re struggling with your outgoings, then it’s important to share this.
Establishing these sorts of conversations as the norm in relationships is important as ultimately, communicating well about money matters is crucial for your health and happiness.
Friendships and relationships with those who are close to us are not an exception to this rule and speaking candidly about your finances will ease how you feel.
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