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Let's face it, there is no better thing than going on a vacation, especially with your family. This article outlines 5 simple ways that you can save money for a vacation within 6 months.
Going on vacation is always exciting, but expenses can add up quickly. If you don't prepare, you can easily find yourself in a financial hole that can be impossible to overcome.
One trend report showed the average vacation cost is around $2k. That may not be that high of a number, but what if you're facing financial roadblocks?
It may seem impossible depending on your current finances, but it's not. So let's look at how you can successfully save for a vacation in 6 months.
How to Save for a Vacation
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1. Set a vacation budget
Setting a vacation budget is crucial to avoid spending pitfalls. Preparation is critical, and a budget will keep you organized and safe from potentially overspending.
Analyze your current finances
Before you decide to go on vacation, it's vital you first analyze your finances. For example, if you are currently paying off large debts, it may not be an ideal time to plan a trip.
On the other hand, keeping your financial goals first is always a priority; if your trip will hinder those, then it's better to wait. Also, taking a closer look at where you stand financially can help you understand what actions to take when you begin saving.
Take hidden expenses into account
When you budget for your trip, you must remember potential hidden expenses. These costs include:
- Service tips
- Hotel/airport parking fees
- Baggage checking fees
- Emergency replacement items
- Cost of prices at the resort
If these costs apply to your budget, it's best to find ways to steer clear of them or reduce them if you can.
Factor potential occurring costs
Anything can happen at any time on vacation. Prepare yourself for any potential emergencies or situations like gas costs, money for adventures and entertainment, parking tolls, etc.
You can save on things such as food by eliminating overspending. Make a store trip upon arriving and buy food in large quantities.
Buying all essentials removes the need for multiple store trips, equating to spending less money.
2. Use a money-saving app
Software developers design money-saving apps to help you manage and save money effectively. Sometimes saving up can be stressful, especially for something as crucial as a vacation.
Features of money-saving apps not only help you put money away, but they also assist in developing constructive money-saving & spending habits long-term.
When saving up for a vacation, like anything else, it's best to have extra for emergencies. So here are a few fantastic apps that can help you quickly save and prepare for your vacation.
Trail Wallet lets you track every cent you spend during vacation. Every purchase, such as lodging, food, gas, etc., can be logged on the app.
One of the best parts is it converts the exchange rate for you so you won't miscalculate and accidentally splurge. In addition, you can create a daily budget and show updates by-the-minute spending reports and calculations.
Thanks to the app, one user reports staying $200 under budget during vacation.
Mint is an excellent app that makes it easier to set money aside by creating a budget specific to your needs. Upon signing up, you need to sync the accounts you want to budget, i.e., checking, bills, credit cards, etc.
Budgeting features include splitting transactions and customizing your notifications. Splitting your transactions helps you stay organized with every purchase by dividing them into their category.
Customizing notifications can keep you in the loop whenever anything happens in your accounts. For example, you can track credit score changes, get notified when you're over your budget and be alerted if you have been charged fees.
If you're saving for a vacation, these features are a necessity. They help keep you aware of where you stand with your savings while equipping you with tools to prevent overspending.
3. Have a vacation savings account
Setting up a vacation savings account is an excellent way to ensure you put the money aside in a safe place. With that said, It's best to place it into an account that won't be very easy to access.
Doing so helps eliminate all temptation as you save and gauge your progress.
Set milestone goals
Setting milestone goals for your vacation savings account can help motivate you to stay on track. A great way to do this is by saving a certain amount each month.
For example, if you were to put away $100- $200, or more, into the account each week. You can also write down a deadline for a specific amount you'd like to hit.
Maybe by month three, for example, you would like to have saved $2k. Then, once you hit this milestone, set another one with a shorter deadline for a higher amount.
Implementing these methods will put you on the fast track to reaching your fund goals almost half the time.
How much should I save?
How much you need to save ultimately depends on where you're going. Other factors include how many people will be going, the time of the year, and how long you will stay.
According to an Expedia report, in 2021, the average savings for vacation were about $3k. However, the best way to determine how much you should save is by first deciding your target budget.
An easy way to come up with this number is by calculating the total cost of your trip.
Some things to tally:
- Round trip tickets
Next, you want to create a savings plan. First, divide your trip's target budget cost by the months between now and when you leave.
That amount is how much you will need to put into monthly savings. Once you know the amount you need to set aside each month, take some time to look at your monthly spending.
Then, adjust the amount you expend by cutting out things you may be able to go without, such as monthly subscriptions, ordering out, shopping, etc.
4. Start a side hustle
If your primary source of income isn't enough, starting a side hustle is a guaranteed way to reach your vacation savings goal.
There are several side hustles you can do online and offline. It can be somewhat overwhelming if you don't know where to start, so here's a small list of side hustle ideas:
- Create a blog
- Sell homemade goods
- Become a pet sitter
- Start Freelance Writing
- House sit
- Become a user tester for apps
- Sell digital products
- Complete online surveys
- Start affiliate marketing
- Become a social media manager
Having multiple streams of income can accelerate the savings process. Before you know it, you may even have a little extra leftover to prolong your trip.
5. Automate your savings
Automating savings is very beneficial as it can remove the urge to spend and even help you get out of debt quickly. In addition, it eliminates the stress of having to set aside the time to figure out how much to save, if you will reach your goal savings amount, and when to deposit into the account.
This can also help you save more money over time. For example, if you automatically transfer money each payday, it will become a monthly recurring expense.
That means you will contribute consistently without fail instead of saving what's left or nothing.
Generally, you can make saving easier once you set your budget. From there, everything is smooth sailing, mainly if you utilize the money-saving apps mentioned above.
Also, use the other tips and tricks to help you properly budget, manage, and save current and new income for your trip.
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