23 Mar 6 Ways to Save for Your Summer Vacation Now
Ways to Save for Your Summer Vacation
- Find ways to reduce the cost of the vacation without reducing the overall experience.
- Set a budget and start setting aside funds in a dedicated savings account.
- Cut your monthly expenses in the short term to free up cash for savings.
- Pick up a side gig and use the funds to supercharge your vacation savings.
- Liquidate unused items
- Rent out anything you can; from tools to an extra room.
Summer vacation can seem like a rite of passage. Whether your annual trip takes you to the coast or the mountains, you are likely to incur debt to pay for your vacation. A recent LearnVest survey revealed that 74% of people added an average of $1,108 in debt to pay for their vacation and took six months to recover financially.
Families spend an average of $4,580 for a holiday or 10% of annual income. With this high level of spending, it is surprising that the same survey also uncovered that 73% of households failed to budget for vacation costs.
The trick to taking a vacation without adding to current debt balances is to start saving early. Here are five ways you can plan a budget and save for your summer vacation now, giving you the power to pay cash for your upcoming holiday.
Let the cost of the holiday guide your vacation planning. Here are a few effective ways to lower vacation costs without lessening the enjoyment for your family:
- Choose a destination within driving distance to eliminate the cost of airfare.
- Seek cost-effective lodging by comparing prices across hotels, rental homes, and even camping.
- Look at the total cost of lodging and food. For instance, renting a home or booking hotel with a mini kitchen will allow you to cook and eat in, lowering your overall dining expenses significantly.
- Strategically plan meals to limit the number of times you eat out.
- Pay attention to transportation and parking fees. Lodging further away from activities could increase transportation costs.
- Select travel dates that fall within the shoulder season or choose a less popular destination with less expensive lodging, food, and entertainment costs.
- Plan for lower-cost entertainment. Hiking, swimming, and free summer concerts can lower the entertainment budget.
- If you live within driving destination of a popular vacation destination, eliminate the cost of lodging all together by planning a Staycation.
Set a specific budget and start saving now. Once you choose your destination, lodging, food, and entertainment put a hard number on the costs and begin setting money aside for your holiday. Building a detailed budget with a line item for your vacation expense will ensure you are covering your monthly expenses and setting aside enough funds to reach your savings goal. Take the total vacation budget and divide it by the number of paychecks between now and the time you will travel. That is the amount you need to save each payday.
If you find you are unable to set aside enough to cover the costs of the trip you want, choose to scale down the holiday or find creative ways to save more.
Cut expenses. The easiest and most common way to save for a holiday is to cut back on variable expenses. Eat out less, reduce entertainment costs, and set aside the difference in your holiday account. Following a few basic financial strategies to effectively manage your monthly expenses will put you on the path to reaching your vacation savings goals.
Get a side gig. A part-time job can also provide the additional funds needed to reach your savings goals faster. You can earn money through side gigs like Uber and GrubHub or create income using a skill you already have.
Sell unwanted items. An easy way to find extra cash is to sell things you no longer use. Tools, sports equipment, fitness equipment, and clothes are common items that sell well at consignment stores or through websites like Let Go or Facebook Marketplace. A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used I the last 12 months, you probably don’t need it.
Rent out your stuff. Sharing websites connect owners with renters. Sign up on Airbnb to rent out a spare room or your whole home while you are on vacation. You can also rent out everything from a chainsaw to a Lamborghini on Zilok.
Early planning and a solid budget can prevent financing a vacation on high interest rate credit cards. If you still run short of cash, reduce the number of travel days, move the dates to coincide with a less expensive time, or adjust your lodging or entertainment choices to ensure you do not add more debt to your existing credit card balances.
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