Who doesn’t want to take a vacation! Do you dream of travel but your checking account says, “Where, to the backyard?” You’re not alone. Saving for big purchases or events can be hard, especially if you’re doing it without any real plan. Check out these tips for how to save for your next vacation:
Open a Dedicated Vacation Savings Account
It’s easy to accidentally spend the money you’re saving for vacation if you don’t separate it from your every day funds. Open a vacation savings account so you have a place to set aside that money. Not only does it help you keep from spending the money, but it is also a great source of positive reinforcement and motivation as you watch that vacation fund grow! Most credit unions and banks offer these additional savings accounts for free – so be sure to shop around so there aren’t any fees eating into your hard earned fun-money.
Find Out Exactly How Much You Need & Create a Savings Goal
After you have somewhere to put the money you’re saving, the next thing you need to do is figure out how much you need to save. This will obviously depend on how cheaply or lavishly you want to travel. Be sure to include everything so you don’t find yourself short when it’s a week until the plane leaves and you haven’t bought any swimsuits. You may need:
- Hotel or Resort Accommodations
- Transportation – including if you will need a shuttle or a rental car from the airport
- Meals, drinks, and snacks
- Entertainment (theme park tickets, spa visits, tours, indoor things for a rainy beach day)
- Trip specific gear or clothing (swimsuits, skis, hiking boots)
- Wi-fi or international phone plan
Once you have a goal amount, break it down to an amount you need to save monthly depending on how long it is until you want to leave for vacation.
Start a Side Hustle
In today’s world, there are all kinds of things you can do to earn a few extra bucks. A “side hustle” doesn’t have to mean flipping burgers somewhere, either. Try to monetize something you like to do, like make and sell jewelry on Etsy, walk dogs, or teach swimming lessons. You could also choose a part time job at a store you frequent so you can get an employee discount and save even more money! Some other options include:
- Become an Uber or Lyft driver
- Work overtime at your current job
- Baby sit/house sit/pet sit
- Answer surveys online
Make sure that you have these earnings deposited directly into your vacation savings account if possible so you don’t have a chance to spend them ahead of time!
Cut Less Noticeable Expenses
Cutting expenses can be the most dreaded term when it comes to figuring out how to save for a big event or purchase. Instead of cutting things you’re really going to notice, choose smaller things that don’t matter as much. Or, if you don’t want to cut anything completely – just cut back! It will still make a difference come vacation time.
- Cut cable for Netflix, Hulu, or other streaming provider – do you really use cable anymore, anyway?
- Only get 1 or 2 lattes a week instead of buying your coffee every day. This way you’re not going through withdraw but you’re still saving money. Be sure that when you do buy your coffee, you use a rewards app if available to get free drinks! Buy a reusable coffee mug and make your own coffee on the other days.
- Instead of getting acrylic nails, just get a gel polish for a few months – or try to stretch your nail appointments from every 2 weeks to every 3 weeks
- Eat out less or choose less expensive restaurants when you do eat out– you can live without hibachi for a few weeks!
- Drink at home instead of at restaurants or bars. You can have the same amount to drink at a much lower cost.
- Pack at least part of your lunch during the week – you have no idea how much money you’ll save until you try it.
- Tweeze your own eyebrows instead of having them waxed or threaded – it adds up.
Even if these cutbacks are slightly painful at first, you will be grateful when you’re sitting on a beach chair sipping a margarita and enjoying your vacation.
We all know that it is easy to get off track saving and cutting back on luxuries we’ve gotten used to. Staying motivated is especially hard when your vacation isn’t coming up for a while. Try to keep your vacation front of mind. Change the background on your smart phone to a photo of your vacation spot. The average adult checks their phone over 40 times a day, so you’ll have a hard time not thinking about it. You can also create a physical chart to show how much progress you’ve made towards your goal and fill it in each time you add to your vacations savings account.
Pick and choose which of these tips fit you and your lifestyle best. Slowly but surely, you’ll build up enough to take that long-awaited vacation!
Open a Vacation Savings Account at Patriot Federal Credit Union
Ready to take the first step to make your dream vacation happen? Open a free vacation savings account at Patriot Federal Credit Union! Stop into any of our branches, give us a call, or visit our website to open your vacation club today. Think you might need additional budgeting help to make it happen? We have financial advisors that will sit down with you and go over your finances to help you find a way to afford that 10 day cruise you’ve been dreaming of. Call (888) 777-9982 or visit our website to make an appointment with a financial advisor now.