Planning a Staycation? Budget for Better Health

 

So you’ve identified all the things you want to do in Michigan, but haven’t quite figured out how to avoid a hefty price tag. Traveling to Pictured Rocks, seeing a concert at the Fox and white water rafting the Menominee River all in one summer could burn a hole in your pocket pretty quickly.

According to the American Psychological Association, there is a correlation between vacations, reduced stress levels and increased longevity. So getting out of the house and enjoying our great state can actually be beneficial to your health!

Numerous studies show that finances are a leading cause of stress for Americans– and while we set money aside to pay bills, student loans and other expenses, it may seem difficult to dedicate income for fun. But if done with a budget and long-term vision, taking your next great Michigan vacation could be more achievable than you think.

Here are three steps to help position yourself and your health for success:

  1. Identify worthy short- and long-term financial goals. Determine what you want to do or achieve by next month, the next few years – and by retirement. What goals can you realistically reach if you begin planning right now? Speak with an unbiased financial guide to help you plan.
  2. Set goal end dates and identify the costs of each goal. A goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish. Re-engineering your life with the end in mind will keep you on track.
  3. Automate deposits to reach those goals. By identifying worthy, achievable goals early on, you’ll avoid getting stuck paying for poorly planned lifestyles (think: big house or expensive cars). Open a dedicated savings account for leisure activities and auto-deduct a percentage of each paycheck throughout the year. When it comes time to withdraw it, use only what you’ve saved without accumulating additional credit card debt.

Charles HoffThis guest post was submitted by Charles Hoff, Member Education Counselor for DFCU Financial. Charles is responsible for developing and leading financial education programs in the organization’s branch communities across the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing areas. 

Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan (main), Courtesy Photo (Charles Hoff)

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