By Becky Smith, FISC counselor

Remember the song, “Roll out those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer…?” Now many Americans would add “stressful days of summer” to those lyrics.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans said their financial tension during the summer matches or exceeds the stress they feel during the year-end holiday season, according to a 2014 survey by the American Institute of CPAs. In addition, 41% of Americans expect to pay an average of $3,000 for their vacation. What can be done to bring down the heat on our wallets?

Stay-cation this year, prepaid vacation next year!

Stay local for your week of vacation this summer. Check out tourism and free events in your hometown. Still relax with the lemonade and sand between your toes, just make sure it’s local sand.

For your prepaid vacation next year, decide where you want to go and what it will cost. Now you have 12 months to save for your vacation. Calculate how much to save each month or paycheck to build the vacation fund needed. Vacations are more stressful when they are not planned well.

Can the kids earn any money that will be their spending money for vacation?

A stress-free vacation is a debt-free vacation!