We all know that budgeting and having to save for a vacation isn’t easy. It takes discipline and self control to save for a vacation. Depending on your financial situation and where you want to go, it can take months or even years to save for a trip.
I am a planner by nature. I love to scout our next vacation location, research flights and hotels, read about all the places we’ll visit and eat at and start making lists…lots and lots of lists. What I am not so good at though is saving for this said trip. When it comes to dipping into our “Travel Savings” account for emergencies, I am guilty as charged! (A Nordstrom sale is an emergency, right?!)
So, to achieve our travel goals, we have adopted these techniques which have proven to be successful for us.
1. Create a travel savings account separate from your regular savings. We called ours “Family In Paradise”. Set up a direct deposit from your checking account to your Travel Savings Account every pay day which makes this a priority to save for a vacation. Make sure you allocate a reasonable amount and something you can afford. Start small and make adjustments as you see fit. Automating this deposit is key. You won’t even notice the money is gone if you don’t see it in your checking account.
2. Use cash as much as possible. Anytime you end up with cash thats $5 and under, put it in a jar. We did this for a year and we were shocked when we counted our money prior to a trip and discovered we had saved over $1000! That made for a pretty sizable amount for our spending money during our trip.
3. Automatically transfer money to savings when you use your debit card. For example: you make a purchase thats $35 and the bank will round it off to $40 and will automatically deposit the remaining $5 into your savings account. This adds up fast! It’s tempting to move it over to your checking account but don’t do it! Just think about how much closer you are getting to your vacation!
4. Sell old items you no longer need. I do this all the time! Having kids who are growing faster than I can type this sentence helps a lot. I sell kids toys, clothes, baby gear, baby accessories, etc… once they outgrow them. The money I make goes towards activities during our trips such as tour guided day trips, snorkeling, water activities, chairs and umbrella at the beach or renting a cabana at the pool for the day. This helps SO MUCH by the way if you have a baby and I highly recommend a shaded cabana if you can swing it! Just always remember the goal: To save for a vacation.
5. Lastly, and probably the most difficult for me is to refrain from dining out. Dining out is one of our biggest expense and that’s because we just love to eat. I also love to cook too but its so much easier (especially now with the baby) to just go out or get food delivered. Don’t do it. Cook at home. It’s healthier, its cheaper and it’ll get you closer to achieving your goal. The key here is planning ahead. If you don’t plan, its so easy to say “lets just eat out”. Create a meal plan, then based on your meal plan, create a grocery shopping list. Then what I do is make a few dishes ahead of time that we can reheat throughout the week. Doing this has really helped us cut down on our “dining out” budget and also helped us lose a few pounds! Win win!
Remember that the reward is much greater than the small sacrifices you will have to make. The memories you will make with your family will last a lifetime.
I hope this post was helpful and will help you get closer to your next vacation!
I’m always looking for other ways to save money. Do you have any other tips you can share with me? Let me know in the Comments section below!