Your dream vacation need not be just a dream. With a little planning, you can learn to save enough money to make your dream trip a reality. Here are tips to help your vacation funds and make sure you are on track to your bucket-list get-away this year.
Set a Realistic Goal
When it comes to finances, you need to be realistic. That means you have to consider factors such as your income and expenses. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to be too hard on yourself just because you are saving for your vacation. If you do that, chances are you’ll give up saving altogether.
Jesse Mecham, the founder of You Need a Budget, recommends that people should first come up with a reasonable figure of how much they can afford to spend for their vacation then they can proceed to plan the trip.
Once you’ve set a realistic goal of how much you can save, divide the total amount by how many months you have until your adventure, then include that amount in your budget.
Reward Yourself First
Typically, once the bills start showing in your mailbox, it can be challenging to have any money left over to put aside for your vacation funds. So reward yourself first. Set up automatic transfers to your savings account.
Take notice of where you’re putting your money. Several online banks offer up to 2% interest on savings accounts – that’s pretty high compared to the national average interest rate of 0.9%. That’s basically free money; money you could use for, say an extra day on your safari in Africa.
Save via Your Smartphone
The days of stacking cash under your mattress are long gone. Today, there are a plethora of apps on smartphone devices that help you save. “I use an app called Digit, it takes out a small amount of what you have in your account every day and sends it that amount to your savings accounts for different goals,” says Dunn. “The app also sends you a text every morning to notifying about how close you are to achieving your saving goals, and to be frank, I sometimes completely forget about the money until something comes up.”
There are many other apps like Digit that utilise creative ways of helping you save without you overthinking about it. Qapital and Acorns, for instance, can both round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference to your savings account. Pretty small but impressive, right? Imagine how much it could add up to after a year.
Take the Tab at Dinner
Nothing spoils an awesome night with friends like trying to split the tab on different credit cards. Offer to put the total on your card. Doing so not only creates a more enjoyable dining experience but could also help you finance your vacation.
According to Nicole Lapin, a personal finance expert and author of Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together … Finally, if your credit card gives you bonuses at restaurants, then you might want to cover the bill and get the reward points. Then, of course, have your friends pay you back immediately with a payment app.
Say No to Impulse Buys
Impulse buys are quite tempting. You never had a plan to buy that pair of jeans, but then you notice they are available at a discounted rate – and you can’t bring yourself to resist such a good deal, right? Of course not! You can resist making impulse buys, and when you do, reward yourself by transferring some of the money you would have spent to your savings account. Think of that money as a little extra cash to make your dream trip a reality.
Ask for Discounts
Do you ever ask for a discount for things like your cell phone bill? If it’s been a couple of years, it’s time to ask for that discount. Be courteous, but firm when asking for discounts. And don’t shy away from calling them back on another date if you don’t get a discount offer. A few minutes on the phone could help you have an extra £20 per month to put in your travel fund.
Further tips are available at Going Luxury.