Creative Ways to Save For Your Vacation

Creative Ways to Save For Your Vacation

Taking a vacation is designed to be a relaxing time with family or friends. Yet, often the planning and paying for a vacation is stressful.

Setting aside money throughout the year reduces stress,saves you money, and eliminates debt accumulation that might normally occurwhich gives you the freedom to enjoy your time away from work. Planning ahead allows you to take advantage of sales and discounts.You are also able to secure accommodation, flights, and other elements of your trip when the prices are the lowest. Charging a vacation on a credit card, and not paying the balance in full,is counterproductive because any savings you obtain from sales is lost due to interest payments. With savings, you may also be able to pay cash for parts of the trip.

Here are ideas for finding hidden money within your budget that can be earmarked for the family vacation.

Decide where you want to go and set a budget. Knowing how much you need is the first step in funding your vacation. Choose a location that can be realistically funded. Less touristy destinations can be just as enjoyable, while being easier on your wallet. You limit your options if you do not have a clear direction on how much needs to be saved. You don’t want to underestimate costs and end up short for activities once you get where you are going.

Build the costs into the monthly budget. Even if you can only set aside a small amount each pay period,establish an automatic draft into a separate account earmarked specifically your trip. This provides a way to track progress along the way and builds vacation costs into the budget. As sales arise you will have the money to pay cash.

Streamline expenses to reach your goal. Feel like you can’t really afford a vacation? Or want to take an excursion or two that is not in the budget? Cutting back on food costs, entertainment, or other discretionary spending can free up the money needed. Ways you can cut back may include packing your lunch, cut out restaurant meals, or put off non-essential purchases until you have enough to enjoy your trip.

Small Steps Can Add Up to Big Savings

Set up a change jarto build your vacation funds. Have everyone in the family dump all their change at the end of the day into a jar and then add it to the vacation account at the end of the week or month. Another similar option is putting $1, $5, a day or $10 to $20 a week into ajar. These small amounts are easy to give because they seem insignificant, but over the course of time will add up over several months. This is a way to pay for optional excursions or activities. It can also involve children of all ages.

Use your annual spring cleaning to sell things you no longer use or want. Do you have sports equipment the kids have outgrown? Collectables that are better at collecting dust? Appliances, tools and clothes accumulate over time and end up taking up space without adding value. Sell what you do not use or need at a garage sell or online seller.

Suspend the cable or satellite service for a few months.These services can generally be suspended for up to six months with no fee, allowing you to stop and restart the service without reentering a new contract. With streaming services like Amazon and Netflix widely available it may not be a significant sacrifice.

Take a side job. There are the traditional jobs like babysitting, housesitting and pet sitting that come to mind. You can also find work at the local mall or theme park. Today’s global and digital world has also provided new income opportunities for nearly everyone offering greater flexibility than ever before. Sign up to be an Uber or Lyft driver and work a few extra hours a week. Create a profile on a micro job site like Fiverr, and complete ‘mini’ jobs that only take a few minutes to complete. Do you know how to build a website, design a logo or business card?This site can provide one time jobs to earn extra cash. Can you answer emails or schedule appointments for clients looking for a virtual assistant?There are dozens of micro sites that provide work which can be completed quickly without a long term commitment or a boss telling you when to come to work.

Get everyone involved. The more vested everyone is in the holiday, the more likely your planning will be successful:Children will be more understanding when you say no to financial requests and you will be more focused on controlling costs. Have them contribute to the success of the vacation.They can put in a small amount from there allowance or job, help choose activities,and make other decisions based on their age or understanding. When they have a vested interest, they will appreciate the time, effort, and money that goes into planning for a vacation.

Make it a game. Have a friendly competition around who can save the most money in a week?Or who can earn the most extra cash? Who can put the most change in the jar? Having games and competition can eliminate the feeling of sacrifice and drudgery that comes from cutting back. It might be hard for children to keep in mind that they are forgoing certain things for an event 6 months away. Games and competitive activities will help the family stay focused and increase the bank account at the same time. The rewards can be part of the vacation planning, such as choosing the activity the money will pay for, or something more immediate.

Track progress everyone can see. Create a thermometer or some other measurable chart that shows your progress at a glance. Each week or month discuss your progress towards your goal and update the chart. This activity puts a purpose to your savings and helps keep everyone motivated along the way.

Vacation planning can be as fun as the vacation itself. They say, ‘the joy is in the journey,’ and this is particularly true when it comes to trips and family events. Family time can be enjoyed during both the planning and the actual vacation.