If you are wanting to plan for a vacation but don’t have a huge amount of money saved up for a vacation, you should start now to start a new plan to save. Most people have some type of savings account that they can use for vacations but many times, it ends up being used for other things. Then, once the time comes to book your rentals and accommodations, you don’t have enough to make ends meet.
Saving For Your Next Vacation
We’ve discovered a few unique ways to save for vacation that, if you start in the new year, you may be able to save enough for a great summer or fall vacation without taking it out of your primary income.
First, remember that putting your vacation on a credit card is not the best way to do it. Though millions of people do this each year, using your credit cards on vacation can quickly add up to huge finance fees, interest, and other expenses that you didn’t want to use for extra expenses. Credit cards should be reserved for specific larger purchases that you cannot get any other way such as paying for business or car expenses or adding on to your home, for example. Most financial experts agree that using your credit cards for vacation expenses will lead to a big bill fast.
Instead, try these five innovative ways to utilize the money you have to save for your vacation.
Start a vacation-only savings fund. Some banks offer a “goals” section where you can set a specific goal where money will be taken out of your account daily in small increments in order to save for a vacation or other big event you need to save for. This allows you to target certain money to use for vacations and trips while dedicating the other money to other things. You can sign up for a Simple.com account online quickly and easily. Once you are signed up, you can go into “Goals” and set a goal specifically for a vacation fund. Then let the app take care of the rest. This may be a viable way to save for a later event like a family trip without having to pay large amounts out of your spendable income. Also, with this system, the amount that is taken out is just a few dollars per day (depending on the settings you decide on) so you hardly miss it.
Have general savings account you can pull from for miscellaneous expenses. If you do not designate a certain amount to save for your next vacation, another way is to have general savings account that you can pull from to avoid using credit cards or your general income fund. You should use your main income to pay important bills and expenses and to use for unforeseen events. Your savings account should be there for emergencies so make sure and keep enough in it for this purpose. But you could also allocate a certain amount of your general savings for trips and vacation expenses.
Use a money app like Mint.com to plan better. Part of finding money for vacations and trips has more to do with organization than having enough money. Many people can afford a vacation if they just organized their spending better. The first step in doing this is to know how you are spending money and follow a plan. Decide how much you should save for the vacation or allocate for this type of expense, then use the Mint.com application to keep your money organized. Another great thing about apps like this is that they connect all of your accounts in one place and show you where you are at financially at all times. By having that knowledge about how you are spending your money and where your finances are going, you will be able to monitor and adjust your spending to meet your needs and afford more extra things such as vacations and a miscellaneous fund.
Travel in groups to share expenses. If you think outside the box, you may be able to save a lot more money. Have you ever considered traveling in groups of two or more families and sharing expenses? Of course, everyone would still pay for their own hotel reservations and the basics, but sharing on gas expenses, eat-outs, and other things can greatly reduce the expense you have to carry on your own. Also, if you are traveling with children, you could ask your kids to pool some of the money they make from working for their miscellaneous expenses. Every little bit helps and this can reduce at least some of the extra expenses you incur while on vacation. Another advantage to traveling in larger groups is the fact that you will have more help than you would be traveling alone or only with your spouse or immediate family. This can come in handy when it comes to loading equipment to and from your car, pitching tents, or other laborious tasks found in our previous article Setting Up a Camping Vacation.
Pay off credit cards and increase your bank account’s expendable cash. One helpful thing you can start doing in the new year or right now is to look for high-interest credit cards and pay off the ones you can. Then take the money you were paying into the credit cards each month and use this money to ‘pay yourself’ in your bank account. This way, you are completely cutting out the extra charges that credit companies charge you and you can use your bank or debit card for purchases during your trip. Think of the money this will save you over the long run!
Finally, think of some other ways you can save, cut expenses, and increase your expendable cash so that you can enjoy your trip without the worry of running up credit card bills. We’re not saying to never use credit. It’s convenient. But it’s just as convenient to use your bank card and it doesn’t cost as much. Saving for a vacation also makes it more real and gives you something to look forward to. So, start today with these suggested travel tips and you’ll see how fast that extra cash can add up. And you’ll avoid the doldrums and down feeling, you get after a vacation!