Budgeting for prison visits is important, but often neglected.
Budgets. I don’t know anyone who likes to talk about budgeting—except for a banker or investment counselor! I think of my budget as a necessary evil. It stops me from spending money on things I want, but I cannot afford. It also helps me pay for the things that are important. One of the most important expenses when your husband is in prison is prison visits.
Budgeting for prison visits is important, but often neglected. When you do not properly budget for visits, you will increase stress in your life in one of 2 ways: either you won’t see your loved one, or you won’t have enough money to pay for other things you need. Neither of these are a good for you or your family.
Learning to budget is really important.
Living within that budget is even more important. When you set your budget to match your income and stay within it- you will experience such freedom and peace. If you do not budget and live within your budget, the opposite will be true; you will be stressed and feel constrained. Adding the costs of seeing your loved one into your budget will help you stay on track and build your relationship at the same time.
As you work on your budget, you must include the costs associated with visiting your husband with prison visits. Here are the costs you must include in order to know how often you can visit:
1 - Calculate traveling expenses
Calculate the cost of gas, bus tokens/fees, or other travel related expenses for round-trip prison visits.
2 - Calculate Food expenses
Calculate the cost of food during the trip and for the vending machine purchases during your visits together. Don’t forget to include the cost of the vending card if you are required to buy one to purchase food from the vending machines.
3 - Family Pictures
If the institution offers pictures during the visits, find out how much they charge and then see if you have room to add pictures to your visit costs.
Once you have calculated the above costs, you can include visits into your monthly budget. Multiply the number of visits by the cost per visit to determine how often you will be able to visit each month. You may have to adjust some of the costs if you want to visit more often. The best way to reduce costs is to pack food for your travel and reduce the amount you spend at the vending machines during your prison visits.
Including prison visits in your budget will help keep you on track financially during this difficult season.
I am rooting for you!