If your family is anything like mine, you find it difficult to plunk down a bunch of money for a vacation every year…so you end up not taking too many “real” trips. If you want to take a fantastic vacation but can’t seem to part with (or even find) that big sum of cash, here’s how you can budget for it.
1. Plan a Fixed Budget
How much you set aside in your monthly budget for your vacation depends on how much you intend to spend, and how long you are willing to save for it. If you plan on spending 8,000 on a trip to Hawaii, but can’t put aside the $667 per month you’d need to save that much in a year, then plan to save for 18-24 months. It’ll be worth it! Research your dream trip, decide how much it will cost, then budget it out. Break that vacation budget into categories for transportation, food, attractions, etc.
2. Be Disciplined
If you haven’t been very good about doing a monthly budget, it will be that much harder to save up for that vacation. You might need to start getting used to having a budget first. Here are some tips to help you begin.
3. Plan for Emergencies
Remember the movie “Up”? Remember how that sweet old couple saved change in a jar for their trip to Paradise Falls, but never made the trip together because they kept dipping into their vacation fund for babies, car repairs, and other bills? Instead of putting money aside just for that vacation, keep other extra cash in the bank for emergencies like car and home repairs. That way, you won’t have to dip into your vacation fund.
4. Trade the Now for the Later
Do you love eating out or going to the amusement park? Try cutting back or eliminating those expenses altogether in favor of saving more for your trip. Sure, you’ll be sacrificing a bit this weekend, but your future self will thank you.
5. Sell Stuff
Ever thought of having a yard sale or unloading stuff on your local classifieds page? Start dejunking, and start putting that money away for your trip.
6. Don’t Overpay for Coffee
Stopping at Starbucks or another coffee shop every morning can really add up. How much would you save by staying away from expensive drinks and brewing your own at home?
7. Plan Your Meals
By planning meals and making a grocery list, you can eliminate that last-minute “what’s for dinner” trips to the drive-thru. That can save you significant money toward your vacation. Your thighs will be happier, too!
8. Save Your Change
After spending cash and getting change back, come home and dump those spare coins in a jar…and leave it there. How much could you save in a year?