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Love and Debt: Why you need to talk about money

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Where to go for mortgage and debt help

What You Should Know About Debt Settlement

Create a plan to deal with medical debt

Options for Higher Education

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

Q.  My husband and I are discussing what we should do for this year’s summer vacation.  I want to take the kids somewhere memorable, but my husband thinks this will be too expensive.  How can we come to a consensus?

A. You don’t necessarily need to travel to faraway places or need a big budget or to have a memorable vacation.  A willingness to think outside of the box can result in a vacation none of you will ever forget. Your options, in fact, are virtually limitless.

With that being said, however, I would caution you about going into debt in order to go on your vacation. In my experience, the most common financial regrets that people have are wishing that they would not have incurred so much debt or that they would have saved more money. A vacation, as welcomed as it might be, is a luxury, not a necessity. Be honest about what you can afford to spend and start planning from there. 

Since Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer, there’s not much time to save more for your vacation. So to avoid debt, you will have to plan your vacation based on what you have already saved. This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to sacrifice fun in the process.

Have friends or relatives you haven’t seen in a while? Maybe you could combine your vacation with a visit to them and save money on lodging in the process. Of course, you’ll still have the cost of travel and entertainment, but saving on your accommodations can help you keep your budget intact.

Camping is another way to save on lodging. You can make the campsite your home base and plan day trips from there. Don’t have camping equipment of your own? Consider borrowing it from a friend or research rental options. 

If you’re flexible, you can find last-minute hotel rooms and discounted entertainment online. Sometimes cruise lines offer incredible deals for unfilled rooms and all-inclusive resorts drop their prices to attract more last-minute travelers. Make sure to read all of the fine print with any deal, so you aren’t surprised by additional fees or expenses.

Even if you determine that you can’t travel outside the area, you can still enjoy a memorable family vacation. How about planning a scavenger hunt vacation where you look for certain plants, animals and rocks in at your local parks and recreational areas. How many caves can you visit in a week? Or how many different lakes can you visit?  Hit every ice cream shop in town. Plan a series of themed picnics. Take night hikes with glowsticks as your primary source of light.

Ask your kids for their ideas, too. If they have a say in your vacation and get to help choose the activities, the trip will be memorable for them. Be intentional with your planning, and you’ll make good memories that won’t stress your budget. 

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.