We don’t know about you, but the winter doldrums have us dreaming of a warm, sunny vacation. With snow still threatening in some parts of the country even now, a summer vacation might seem pretty far away. But there’s no better time than now to start saving for your summer travels. With Christmas over and done with and tax season wrapping up, it’s the perfect time to renew the budget and find ways to start saving for the summer vacay you deserve. Here are a few great ways to start now.
- Join the Wealth Amplified program. Your approach to finances could be what holds you back from those vacations you’ve been dreaming about. Start down a new path by taking the Money Profile quiz to see your specific money personality. You’ll learn your hangups and your gifts, which will make saving money for your summer vacation easier than ever.
- Set up a separate savings account. If possible, set up a weekly draft to be deposited into it. You probably won’t miss a small weekly contribution like $10 or so. We especially like accounts that allow you to give them a name. That way, when you check the balance or make a deposit, you’ll be reminded of why you’re saving in the first place.
- Track your expenditures. Whether you keep track of your credits and debits with pen and paper, in an Excel spreadsheet, or through a mobile app, it’s important to do so. This will help you be more aware of your spending habits.
- Take a temporary break from unnecessary expenses. Make a goal to go without Starbucks for a month. Challenge yourself to see how many times in a row you can bring lunch to work. See how long you can go without buying a new piece of clothing. Add up how much you’ve saved at the end of the month, and put that into your vacation savings account! As an added bonus, you may have enough saved up to deposit into other savings vehicles, such as the kids’ college fund or your retirement account.
- Eat dinner at home. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever go out to eat, but try to eat most meals at home whenever possible. Dining out can put a bigger dent in your budget than you realize. And hey, eating in more regularly might even help you shed a few pounds before your big vacation.
- Have a yard sale. Do your spring cleaning early this year and sell whatever you can. Put that money directly into your travel savings account.
- Start a spare change jar. You’d be surprised at how quickly spare change can add up. At the end of each day, search your pockets or purse and deposit any change you find in the jar. Check places like junk drawers, under furniture, between couch cushions, and nightstands. It may feel silly to literally pinch pennies, but trust us. Coins eventually add up to dollars!
- Use credit cards that have travel rewards. If you use credit cards, it’s a good idea to have one that includes travel rewards. Credits, airline miles, and points can really rack up if you make your regular purchases with your travel rewards card and pay them off as you go. We don’t always recommend credit cards for these types of expenses, but if you’re smart from the start, it can work for you.
- Use your tax refund. You may have earmarked your tax refund for specific expenditures, like paying off a credit card or topping off your kid’s college fund. If you have some left over, or you don’t already have that money in mind for other things, go ahead and drop it into your vacation fund.
Sometimes it’s hard to justify a vacation, especially if you struggle to make ends meet or you have other expenses that need your attention. However, a vacation is vital for mental and physical health. Even something small and inexpensive could turn your whole year around. It’s actually an important part of financial health to take some time for yourself to relax and bond with your family.
If you need some guidance on saving for your summer vacation, we’d love to assist you. Just give us a call! We’d be happy to help you set up the perfect saving plan to help fund your travels.