For so many of us, putting money aside for that fabulous vacation can be more than a little challenging.
With our monthly bills, daily and emergency expenses, how on Earth are we supposed to save cash for that oh-so-needed holiday?
It takes discipline and motivation to save money at all. Do you feel as though don’t have enough of this and are too busy to think of ways to save?
Well, it is easier than you think! You just have to change your mindset slightly. Here are ten genius ways to put aside a little cash over the course of a year. Before you know it, you will have a hefty sum saved for the vacation you’ve been dreaming about.
1. Empty your leftover coins each day from your wallet into a vacation savings jar not to be touched for ANYTHING else.
Put your loose change in a huge container of some sort. Get your family members or roommates to do it as well (this may take some negotiation.) Heck, even put the occasional one or five-dollar bill in there for good measure. After a few months, you will be laughing all the way to the bank to swap out all of that change for cold hard CASH. It may well be enough to buy a round-trip ticket to the destination of your choice!
2. Save 2-3% of your net income each payday.
This is one of the easiest things you can do. (And you CAN do it!) Even if you whittle that down to just 1.5% of your take-home pay! Simply withdrawal that immediately into another account as soon as you get paid and don’t even think about it! Trust me. Do it. It works!
3. Sell stuff around the house you no longer need/want.
This one is a gem. You will be surprised at all of the stuff we accumulate over the years – much of it we don’t use. My motto is – unless it’s a keepsake or heirloom, if you haven’t used it in over a year and it’s put away somewhere, then OUT IT GOES. You don’t need it! Accumulate all of this stuff and have a garage sale, or sell it on Craigslist, eBay, etc. Make some cash with your unwanted stuff and put it into the vacation coffer. You will be amazed at how much money you can make by just doing this!
4. Save every empty can and bottle to cash in for the vacation fund.
For those of us who are able to cash in 5 or 10 cents per can/bottle at the supermarket, this is a great way to accumulate funds for travel. And many of us (gasp!) just throw away or recycle these instead of taking a few minutes more to cash them in. The horror! That’s money literally down the drain!
5. Cut back on your monthly food budget.
Even if you already run a lean food budget, there is always room for improvement. Forego that weekly treat (or treats!), skip one meal a night and just have salad, make a lot of one meal and have it several times over the coming days…and use more coupons! There are endless ways you can cut your food bill down significantly. Get creative – this is one of the easier ways to save money.
6. Save 10% of your tax refund for vacation.
Even if it’s just a few dollars, dare yourself to save up to 50%. For many people, our tax refund means we get thousands of dollars back from the government every year. Even 10 percent of that means a nice chunk going to our vacation fund. Do it! Another option going along this same theme is to change the deductible on your paycheck so that you are actually getting a little more take-home pay. Use the extra few dollars to put away for that trip to Paris or Santorini.
7. Did you win $10 on a lottery scratcher? Save $5!
Heck, save all $10. Who hasn’t played the lottery at one time or another? It may not be something you do on a regular basis, but every once in awhile it’s fun. Just don’t let it get out of hand or the entire ‘saving for vacation strategy is down the tubes!’ I don’t usually buy scratch-off tickets, but I do get them as a stocking stuffer around the holidays, without fail. And I’ve always won at least five bucks. So instead of buying that extra treat or coffee, put it in the holiday fund. Speaking of coffee…
8. Forego that daily Starbucks coffee.
Whether its Starbucks or your local coffee roaster, stop spending five bucks (or more!) a trip and start making your cup of joe at home! I am as guilty of this as the next person. It can be a hard habit to break, I totally get it. But let’s do the math: say you go pick up a coffee on the way to work about three times a week. On average that’s $15 a week. (That’s a conservative estimate.) Over the course of a year that is $15 x 52 weeks = $780!!! See?
9. Put the interest earned on your savings account to the vacation fund.
Any interest you earn on various accounts, whether it’s your saving account, dividends, even many checking accounts earn you interest these days. Take those few bucks and put it into the fund!
10. Make your credit card work for you!
Do you have a credit card that offers cash back? If not, you should strongly consider getting one! Many credit cards will offer it these days, and if you use it to spend wisely your daily expenses such as food and gas, that cash back can add up quickly. Just be sure you are paying off those expenses every month!!
Utilizing just a few of these tactics in conjunction with each other, and you will have a sizable vacation fund in a very short period of time! Experiment and find out which of these works best for you.
Best London Travel Guide: Experience London with your native British expert.
The renowned British journalist and author Drew Farmer reveals his secrets to your perfect London vacation.
Read the article HERE.