I don’t know about you, but I began saving money for my summer holiday in January. In fact, I have budget line items for two separate trips: One to see friends, and one to see family.
I’m pretty sure neither of those trips will happen. Not as scheduled, anyway. That means that every time I log into YNAB (You Need a Budget, my favourite budgeting app) I see the funds I’ve set aside for these experiences—and I ask myself whether it’s time to reallocate them.
Right now, I have two options. On the one hand, I could leave the money where it is and assume I’ll travel again at some point. Maybe in December, for the holidays? (Even that feels really uncertain). Maybe I’ll take these trips in summer 2021. Either way, the money will be there when I need it.
On the other hand, I could pull the cash out of my travel budget and stick it into my long-term savings/emergency fund. Right now my emergency fund is fairly robust—according to YNAB, I have enough set aside to cover my expenses for six months—but adding a couple thousand bucks back into savings could give me another month of security.
And we all may need a little extra security right now.
I’m fortunate enough to be debt-free at present, and to have the ability to follow that well-meant financial advice to put extra cash in a bucket marked "holiday" and leave it there until summer. Maybe the best option, for me, is to keep that cash in its bucket until it’s safe to travel again. If I find myself in a situation where I need the cash for something else, well... I’ll just take it out of the bucket.
But what about you? If you set aside money for a summer holiday, what are you going to do with it? Are you already putting it towards day-to-day expenses, necessitated by furloughs and reduced hours and layoffs? Are you hoping to spend it on travel this winter or next year? Are you rolling your holiday savings into your emergency fund? Using it to pay off debt? Spending it on the most luxurious staycation ever?
On the subject of staycations: I am taking some time off in June and calling it a "holiday" and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it. I’d recommend you do the same thing, if you can—because stress is real, and burnout is real, and a lot of us have been more stressed than usual for an unusually long time.
Maybe, after I get back from not going anywhere, I’ll be able to decide what to do with the money I didn’t spend on my summer holiday.