Although it can be difficult to look into the distant future, if you want to go on vacation next summer, there is no better time than now to start the planning and saving process.
However, there is a big difference between saying you are going to save money and actually doing it. Here are several tips to follow as you begin to save today for next year’s vacation:
1. Set a Travel Date
It is important to know how many months you have to save. With a set date in mind, you may find it simpler to set a goal based on the trip you are hoping to take.
Let’s say you have 12 months to save $5,000. These are round numbers that are easy to work toward. This means you need to save roughly $416 per month to reach your goal. And the more time you give yourself for saving, the less money you need to put away each month.
2. Make Sacrifices
Taking a vacation is not nearly as affordable as it once was. While some trips are more affordable than others (such as destinations within driving distance), many people are attracted to faraway places that require a lot of money.
You may have to make sacrifices for an extended period of time if you plan on being able to afford your dream vacation. For example, you could eliminate eating out from your budget. You may find that this frees up a couple hundred dollars per month, or several thousand over the course of a year.
When you cut something out of your budget, make sure you take that money and stock it away in your vacation fund. This way you will have access to it when you need it.
3. Setup a Separate Vacation Savings Account
By setting up a separate vacation savings account, you can see exactly how much you have saved and how much more you need in order to reach your goal. Furthermore, you never have to worry about the money getting mixed with funds that you need for other expenses in your life.
Anytime I am saving for something, such as a vacation, I prefer to use an online account. While the money is still liquid, it is more difficult to access since I don’t have a debit card, and it takes several business days for a bank transfer to go through.
Taking a spontaneous trip can be a lot of fun – however, this may not be the best idea in terms of your personal finances. Do yourself a favor and begin saving for your next vacation as far in advance as possible. Not only will this put you in a better financial position, but it will help build anticipation towards your trip.
What other tips can you offer to help save money for vacation?