You’ve dreamed of a memorable vacation for a long time. However, it never seems like the right time to go because you aren’t sure how to pay for it. You may wonder if you should scrap your plans.
There’s no need to give up your dream of a fantastic getaway. Like other large spending goals such as a wedding, college or a new home, a vacation is worth planning and saving for. Here are six ways you can put aside some cash for your trip.
1. Set a Goal
Have you researched the amount you will need for your vacation? If not, now is the time. Be sure to include expenses such as:
- Hotel rooms
- Must-see attractions
- Travel expenses such as car rental or train fare
- Tips and gratuities
Once you have an idea of what you’ll spend on your vacation, you have a goal. The next step is to determine how much to set aside monthly. If you have a timeframe, divide your goal by the number of months until you leave. That amount is how much to save monthly.
If you don’t have a specific timeframe, set an amount you’re comfortable saving monthly until you reach your goal.
2. Stash Extra Money in an Account
Are you trying to decide how to spend that tax refund or work bonus? Put it in your vacation account. Hopefully, it is extra money outside your budget that you don’t need to pay bills.
You can open a goal-setting savings account. Some banks offer accounts that require you to withdraw funds in person or otherwise make it hard to be impulsive. Investing in CD certificates helps you put your money where you can’t access it hastily — plus, you get a better interest rate than many savings accounts.
3. Start Automatic Deductions
Many banks allow you to transfer funds automatically to a savings account. You can choose the dollar amount and frequency. Automatic transfers save you the task of remembering to move your money — if you forget, you miss an opportunity to save. You may also discover you don’t miss the saved money if it goes into savings before you realize it’s there.
4. Start a Side Hustle
Maybe your budget is pretty tight, and you don’t have room for extra savings. In that case, consider a side hustle. Whether you work extra hours at your current job or find additional part-time employment, you can use the extra money to fund your vacation account.
Some ideas include:
- Meal delivery
- Tutoring or babysitting
- Grocery delivery
If you don’t like the idea of working extra hours, it helps to keep your eyes on the prize. Imagine yourself on the vacation of your dreams to increase your motivation.
5. Cut Unnecessary Expenses
Consider reducing or eliminating some of your beyond-the-basics expenses. If you feel like you can’t live without them, consider doing so temporarily so that you can fund your vacation account. Perhaps you can cancel your streaming services for six months, skip two restaurant meals per month or suspend your gym membership and work out at home.
Whatever expenses you decide to cut, make a deliberate effort to put that money in your savings. If you skip a restaurant meal, for example, deposit what you would have spent.
Don’t think of reducing your expenses as a negative. Instead, realize it’s a temporary trade off until you reach your vacation goal.
6. Use Cash as Often as Possible
Paying with cash creates a more tangible experience with your money. It gives you a better sense of what and how much you are spending. Using a credit or debit card is convenient, but it can feel abstract. Using cash can help you curb impulsive spending.
Your dream vacation can become a reality with some diligent planning and saving. When you embark on your trip, you can appreciate the efforts you made to reach your destination.