How Much Should I Bring To Vegas?
Every single time I hear someone talk about going to Vegas, I can see their eyes light up as ‘The Hangover’ type moments flash across their minds. Just the idea of going to Las Vegas begins to raise your energy level. The thought of going to all the shows, the gambling, the dining, and, of course, all the late night partying gets people in the mood for a three day jaunt to the desert. Once your trip is booked, many people often wonder, “how much cash should I really bring to Vegas?” Here are three smart money moves on how to best plan your trip so you don’t break the bank.
- Set a daily gambling limit: Going to Vegas can be dangerous if you give yourself a never ending stream of cash from your ATM or a house credit line. Think about what you might spend on a day of ‘real’ vacation and set aside a definite daily limit of cash you will lose no matter what happens. Unless you are a high roller, more than $500 a day will likely be out of most people’s spending range. Don’t take your whole wad of cash with you on the very first day. If you bring $1,500 of total gambling money, only take $500 so you can spread your enjoyment out over a few days. Remember, this is a vacation, so plan to lose your money. If you win, it’s a bonus!
- Set a daily entertainment limit: Vegas is famous for the $300 bottles that you can buy at the clubs during the wee hours of the evening. If you are going to go to shows, dinners, or even clubbing, give yourself an overall limit to how much money you will spend per day. It can be dangerous to get into the mindset that if you are losing at the tables, you might as well improve your luck by having an expensive night on the town.
- Set a few meals outside of the hotel: The next day out at the pool when you are sweating out the drinks you had the night before, consider hitting the street for a meal or two. If you get all of your food delivered to you at the pool cabana, you’re more likely to pay 2-3 times the price of what you would if you just put on your sneakers and explore all the amazing dining that ‘The Strip’ has to offer. A little walk won’t hurt either, especially after all the fine dining and nights out!
- Take a red eye: I like the idea of taking a Saturday night red eye so you can avoid waking up on Sunday morning with last-minute casino jitters before you leave. By having fun that full last day and then hitting the airport, you’ll at least save on one more night at the hotel and wake up Sunday to get some rest in your own bed.
There are many really good guides on how to save money in Vegas. If you book your travel through large websites like www.expedia.com, you can even get yourself some free show tickets, free drinks, and discounts to some amazing restaurants. Budget your Vegas trip out or you could find out soon whether or not your overdraft protection really works!
CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Editor in Chief of Your Smart Money Moves
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc - The Leaders in Gen X & Y Financial Advice and Services
Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.
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