How To Recover From An Expensive Holiday

family holiday overseas

Did you travel this year? If you have, then you are part of the majority of Malaysians who have expressed their intention to travel in 2023. The Holiday Barometer 2023 survey had shown that over 69% of Malaysians intend to travel abroad this year.

Revenge travel was on most holidaymakers minds when borders opened worldwide after the pandemic. With the recent visa liberalisation by the government combined with year end flight promotions, many Malaysians have jumped at the chance to take their much needed holidays.

Never mind that our ringgit is a lot weaker this year compared to previous years. Plus, inflation has caused prices to skyrocket which means that you will have to put aside a lot more money for your expenses on holiday.

Dealing with the aftermath of overspending on holiday

On the surface, there is no issue with revenge travel. It is understandable that people want to get back to seeing the world, be it for business or leisure. Not only that, helps the struggling tourism and travel industry. 

However, this is also not an excuse to throw caution to the wind and ruin your finances. Revenge travel might be all about getting the wanderlust out of your system, but, at some point you will have to come home and face the – financial – consequences of your actions.

Re-evaluate your budget

Once you have returned from your holiday, you will likely want to start looking for ways to reset your budget and recover your finances. Some people might have begun budgeting before the trip. For those that did not, it’s not too late to start.

It is easy to lose track of your spending when you are having fun overseas. As such, the minute you get back, you should figure out how much the trip has set you back. Following this, work out how much you will need to save to recover the cost of the trip over a period of time. Having a clearly revised  budget is key to ensuring that you stay on track to achieve your long-term financial goals.

A month of no spending

One of the most effective ways to recover from a pricey holiday is to have a month of no spending. During this time, you should try not to buy anything outside of necessities. This means no movies, no new clothes, and definitely no shiny new toys. Sacrificing your hobbies for a month can go a long way in helping to stabilise your budget and boost an emergency fund.

This doesn’t mean not spending anything, but rather cutting your spending down to a minimum. Just don’t end up neglecting your personal well-being; and definitely don’t resort to eating instant noodles for the whole month either.

Cut out the unnecessary groceries

Having a month of no spending is also an excellent way to figure out which expenses you can afford to cut out of your long-term budget. For example, after a month of home-cooked food instead of eating out, you might have found some cheaper alternatives that you can buy for your groceries. You might have also found out that you can live without certain food products, thus lowering your overall food budget permanently.


Another thing that you can likely cut out of your budget is redundant or underused subscriptions. This is especially true if your monthly statements are filled to the brim with redundant mobile subscriptions, unused gym memberships, or an overabundance of streaming services. Considering how so many of our favourite shows are now locked behind certain exclusive streaming brands, you might find that you unintentionally subscribed for one too many. 

Additional shopping tips

With this, you should be set to get your finances back on track. However, there are a few more things you can do to cut back on spending, especially when it comes to shopping. Here are a few additional tips for you to consider:

  • Make a list – Drafting up a shopping list before you go out is quite an effective way to save money. See what you need and stick to the list while you are out shopping and you may find yourself saving quite a bit more.
  • Buy in bulk – If you ever need a large amount of certain items, buying it in bulk can lead to a smaller bill in the long run.
  • Buy cheaper alternatives – Different brands will have different prices. While the quality may be lower, you might want to buy cheaper alternatives to your favourite products – such as store brand items. In many cases, there’s no real difference in quality too.
  • Pay in cash – While cards and e-wallets offer unrivalled convenience, that convenience may also lead us to spend more. As such, try bringing only cash with you on your next shopping trip. This combined with your shopping list could serve as an effective deterrent to spending more than you need.

Slow and steady recovery

Persistence is the name of the game. You are not going to recover from an expensive holiday overnight. Take it one step at a time to make sure you are making the most efficient use of your budget on the road to financial recovery.

Some of the steps will be more difficult than others, and this is why it is important to stay persistent and stick to your plan. Whatever the case, don’t let your finances destroy your memories of the great time you spent on your vacation.

If you need help with budgeting, try using our FREE budget planner to get you back on track.

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