8 Ways to Save Up for the Vacation You Deserve
Everyone deserves a vacation—a dream vacation, in fact. But the problem with dream vacations is that they can feel like they’ll never come true. For hardworking individuals, couples and families, justifying the cost of a big-time trip is the first (and biggest) hurdle to clear.
But how do you make your money work just as hard as you do so that you can afford your next trip?
Every person’s dream vacation is different, but there are some ways to save during vacation planning that anyone can benefit from. From Rome to Florida to camping under the stars, these simple saving tips can help make your next dream vacation come true.
The critical first step to any plan is to set a goal and find a way to track it. Once you’ve done the research and know about how much money you need to save, divide that by the number of months until your ideal vacation (recommend at least 12). Track your progress through a money saving app like Digit, SmartyPig, Qapital, Acorns, or others to keep you on task. Check out our own personal finance tool, My Finance, to get a handle on your money and achieve your savings goals.
Leaving your vacation money with your regular money is a recipe for disaster. A separate account helps you keep track and keep control. The money’s accessible if there’s something you absolutely need, but this makes it easier to resist the urge to use it for something you don’t.
Whether it’s $20 or 20% from every paycheck, set a number that works for you and let that bucket fill up. Then, consider other money sources like tax returns and gifts for one-time deposits. If you make that decision now, you’ll be less tempted to change your mind when that money comes in.
Garage sales are still the standard but selling through sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace make it easy to chip away at items in your home from time to time. Clothes, costumes, furniture and those golf clubs you bought but never use all can have value for someone else while putting you that much closer to your goal.
Whether it’s miles or money, there’s a good chance you have a credit card that rewards you in some way. Obviously, applying your miles to your trip is a no-brainer, so make sure to learn about any restrictions. If it’s money, it is once again about stating that those will go right to your vacation account and then not diverting from that plan.
Cutting back on eating dinner at restaurants is one of the most common (and effective) ways to slim your monthly budget. But there are a lot of things that balloon your budget each month. From date night to meal prep, subscription services to holiday shopping, there are opportunities to save that really add up over the course of a year.
Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids about prioritizing and give them opportunities to save on their own for special purchases and souvenirs while traveling.
A lot of vacations come with one-off expenses, so ask friends and family if they have any items you can borrow. From luggage and camping equipment to games and accessories, see what you can get for free from someone you trust and smile knowing it improved your bottom line.