Ask Zeta: “How can I build a budget for an anniversary vacation and not overspend?”

Aditi Shekar
July 29th, 2021 | 5 mins

Got a tough love and money question? Email us at editor@askzeta.com.

“How can I build a budget for an anniversary vacation and not overspend?”

I love this question. Planning for an anniversary vacation has never been easy in my household—mostly because my husband and I always want the other person to do it. So when we got this question, let’s just say—I could relate.

When I’m tasked with planning duties, I try to break up my approach into three parts:

  1. Pre-plan the location/activity/event of where we’d like to spend our anniversary vacation
  2. Then figure out the budget we’ll need in order to make it happen
  3. And finally create a plan to save for it

While this approach might seem backwards to some, this is just how my brain works. For others, it might be helpful to start with a budget and then pick the location and savings plan. Whatever your approach, the key thing is to follow each step.

For example, a few years ago, I planned an anniversary trip to wine country. It involved a cute B&B which was somewhere I had been wanting to go for a while. That said, we didn’t want to go too crazy. So after discussing a rough budget with my partner, I put together a set of activities that wouldn’t break the bank. In the end, our biggest expense was the B&B, the caretaker for our dogs (yes, I budgeted for that too) and our anniversary dinner. The rest was mostly low-key and free. And because we drove there, we managed to turn the drive into a part of the romantic getaway. This planned approach made sure we stuck to our budget while still doing all the things we wanted to do.

While the first two steps might seem obvious, the last one is where I tend to see couples skip out. Because your anniversary happens every year, it’s easy to plan for it long before the date comes up and mitigate overspending. Ideally, you should integrate your anniversary budget into your overall savings plan. For example, we generally budget a higher amount for our anniversary because we usually treat it like a mini-vacation. If we’re feeling extra adventurous (watch out 2022), we’ll pull savings from somewhere else to cover the difference. And if we’re feeling low-key, we put the extra cash towards something else. That way, the stress of navigating those awkward how-much-should-we-spend conversations are a thing of the past!

Now if only Zeta would plan the perfect anniversary for me...

Did you enjoy this article?

To safely consume this site, we recommend reading this disclaimer. Any outbound links will take you away from Zeta, to external sites in the world wide web. Just so you know, Zeta doesn’t endorse any linked websites nor do we pay/bribe anyone to appear on here. Any reference to prices on the site are just estimates; actual prices are up to specific merchants and their current desire to charge you for things. Also, nothing on this website should be construed as investment advice. We’re here to share our favorite tools, tactics and tips for managing your money together. This content is for your responsible consumption. Please don’t see this as a recommendation to buy specific investments or go on a crypto-binge. Lastly, we 100% believe that personal finance is exactly that, personal. We may sometimes publish content on this website that has been created by affiliated or unaffiliated partners such as employees, advisors or writers. Unless we explicitly say so, these post do not necessarily represent the actual views or opinions of Zeta.

By using this website, you understand the content presented is provided for informational purposes only and agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Zeta Joint Card and Joint Account is offered by LendingClub Bank, N.A., or Piermont Bank, Members FDIC. Zeta Help Inc. is a service provider of the issuing bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at the issuing bank are combined and insured under an FDIC Certificate, up to $500,000. The Zeta Joint Debit Card, provided by MasterCard, may be used everywhere where MasterCard Debit Cards are accepted.