How to travel guilt free

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In my role as a financial coach, my goal is to help people plan and achieve the things in their life that are most important to them. This story from working with one of my clients, Mary, exemplifies this perfectly…

Mary came to me with 3 clear goals in mind:

  1. Get on the property ladder

  2. Start a family

  3. Secure a comfortable retirement

As I began to dig deeper into her goals I learned that Mary loved to travel. She’d been on some incredible trips all over the world and spoke passionately about the beautiful scenery, delicious food, and interesting and exotic cultures she’d experienced.

What struck me though was that she’d recently given up on the idea of travelling in the future if she wants to achieve her three big goals.

One of the biggest reasons was that she felt guilty! Even though she was saving money every year, she didn’t feel like she could use it to see some of the places she’d yet to visit.

I asked Mary, “Why do you feel guilty about travelling?”. She didn’t really know why, but felt it would stop her from having the funds to put a deposit down on a house in a couple of years.

After further discussion, Mary agreed that if there was a way to reduce the guilt of travelling, she’d be delighted to make it part of her financial plan.

Having worked with a number of similar clients over the last couple of years, my advice to her was to follow these three steps.

  1. Work out how much you’re comfortable spending every year on travel and divide that figure by 12 to get a monthly figure.

  2. Build that monthly amount into your budget as a cost, and put it aside at the start of the month into a separate ‘travel’ account.

  3. When you're feeling stressed, need a break from work, or sick of the rain you can use that pot to book your holiday.

There are three key benefits to planning this way.

Firstly, in Mary’s case, within a couple of months she could see that setting the travel money aside wasn’t affecting her ability to build a deposit for her future house so she knew her long term goals weren’t in jeopardy.

Secondly, Mary didn’t feel guilty! By being proactive rather than reactive in planning where her travel funds were coming from, Mary knew before she booked any holiday that she could afford it.

Thirdly, any money Mary didn’t use from her holiday “pot” could still be put towards her other big goals which gave her great peace of mind.

If you’re feeling guilty about the idea of booking a holiday, why not try it out and see if this works for you? Remember, money is only important because it allows you to do things that make you happy.