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Tips to Help You Afford a Summer Vacation

Whether you want to take a trip with your family, a getaway with friends, or an adventure on your own, the summer is a great time for a vacation. Unfortunately, a summer trip can be a pretty expensive affair. This means that, if you want to afford a vacation and not go into debt, you’ll need to save some money first.

Here are eight great ways to save money so that you can pay for your summer vacation.

Plan Ahead

The earlier you start planning for your vacation, the better. If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to shop around and get a better deal, and you might be able to lock in your price early before costs go up due to increased demand. Plus, the earlier you start thinking about your vacation, the more time you’ll have to save.

Planning involves making a vacation budget. Figure out how much you will need to save for the vacation that you’re interested in, then come up with a plan to save the amount that you’ll need. If you recognize that it isn’t possible to save enough for the trip you have in mind, then you’ll need to come up with another trip idea or plan to take your vacation later on, so you’ll have more time to save. Doing your budget far in advance of your trip gives you the freedom to adjust to your plan to suit your current budgetary circumstances.

Look for Expenses to Trim

When you’re saving for a vacation, you’ll want to prioritize saving. It’s a good idea to take a look at your monthly budget and see where you can make cuts, even temporarily. For example, you might want to cut down how often you buy clothes or eat at restaurants so that you can save some extra money for your trip.

You may want to consider cutting back on your monthly service fees as well, at least for a while. For example, consider downgrading your cable or mobile phone package or put your streaming service on hold for a little bit so that you can have some extra money to take a vacation. Once your trip is over, it’s up to you to decide if you want to reactivate these services again.

Cook at Home

As mentioned, cutting back on going to restaurants is a great way to save money. With this in mind, you might want to start cooking your food at home while you’re planning for your vacation. Restaurants, fast food establishments, take out places, and prepared meals cost a lot more than buying food at the grocery store and cooking it yourself.

Set Up a Separate Savings Account

When you’re saving for a vacation, open a separate savings account and use this for your vacation fund. This makes it more difficult for you to dip into your vacation fund for other purposes. If possible, open this fund at a different bank than you usually use so that it’s even tougher to access the money for anything other than your vacation.

Arrange Automatic Transfers

Once you have your separate account set up, the next step is to schedule automatic transfers from your standard bank account to your new vacation savings account. For instance, you can set it up so that money moves from your chequing account to your vacation savings account every time you get paid. This way, you’ll be saving every pay cheque. After a while, you might not even notice the money coming out.

Get Your Whole Family Involved

If you’re saving for a family vacation, it makes sense to get the whole family involved. Let your family members know what they can do to save money or have them come up with ideas on their own. For example, older children can save money by cutting back on eating out or going out with friends.

Break Your Savings into Smaller Segments

It can be overwhelming to think about saving a large amount of money for a vacation. For instance, if you want to save $5000 to take a family trip next summer, this can seem like too much to possibly save. If you get overwhelmed or discouraged, you’ll be more likely to give up on trying to save.

However, if you break your savings goal down into smaller segments, it could start to seem more manageable. For example, instead of thinking “I need to save $5000” think “I need to save $417 each month” or “I need to save $97 each week.” You can even think of it as saving $14 a day. The smaller amount might seem more reasonable than the larger one. For instance, if you normally spend $10 on lunch each day and $4 buying coffee, cutting these expenses gives you the $14 you need to save each day, making your trip possible.