How many times have you vowed you were going to take a summer vacation only to not have the funds when the time comes? WWFCU thinks you deserve a vacation this summer, so we put together five tips to help you save for it:
- Budget Trip
The first important step to take is to figure out how much you need to save. Pick a location, how you’re getting there, where you’d like to stay, what you’d like to do when you’re there and where you’d like to eat. Get an idea of the cost of each, add it up and wham – you’ve got your budget! If the total is higher than you thought, you might want to think about downgrading transportation or accommodations. You may also want to find a cheaper way to eat while you’re away.
Once you have your more finalized total, count how many weeks you have from now till vacation and divide the total by the number of weeks. That’s how much you’ll need to save each week to make your dream vacation happen.
- Separate Savings
Now you know how much you need to save each week, you need a place to do it. Open up a new/separate savings account so you won’t be tempted to spend the money between now and your time off. If possible, set up an automatic deposit into the account with your employer or your financial institution. If you don’t see it, you won’t spend it! Having a separate account also make it simple to track how much you’ve saved and how far you need to go.
- Cut Back
Chances are you’ll need to cut back in a few areas to be able to afford saving to your vacation account. Instead of $5 for that mocha latte, make your own coffee at home. Instead of eating out, make more meals at home – including packing your lunch. Also, instead of going out to the movies, try checking out Netflix and making some microwave popcorn instead. Don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself too much, just remember it’s only temporary and for a very good cause!
- Find Extra
Another way to get extra money for your vacation is to earn it. This could mean scouring the house for items to sell on eBay or Craigslist. Another option is to get a second, part-time job to earn some additional funds. Even a few hours a week could make a difference.
- Keep Motivated
A simple photo on your fridge or phone/computer wallpaper of your vacation destination may be all you need to keep on track with your savings goals. Take it a step further and involve your other senses. Thinking about a trip to Italy? A little pasta and Italian music might help to keep you motivated.
If you get close to your vacation date and don’t have the funds you need, don’t despair. It may be time to pick a bigger and better destination for next year’s vacation. The money you’ve already saved can make a big dent in the overall savings goals for that trip instead. Just keep in mind, the earlier you start planning, the more you can save.