Do you feel the travel bug nibbling at your toes like I do? Find it hard to fund a vacation every year?
I have come up with some painless ways to save for vacation that are guaranteed to help us save extra money to tuck away without us really missing much. I hope they give you a little inspiration to start saving up for your next, or first, vacation!
Spring is clearly late to the party here in Ontario and it is making me daydream about jetting away on another vacation. Our most recent vacation to Cancun, Mexico was our first in about 3 years as we had a lot of tough and exciting life moments happen since our previous vacation. Bella’s birth was a crazy experience which left her father and I almost too scared to leave her to go on vacation. It took us two years to finally be able to feel confident enough to leave Bella for a whole week (although we spoke to her daily on Face Time).
Needless to say with three children and my income which can be non-existent some months planning travel requires us to save money and plan. We just can’t on a random day decide we want to go to the Bahamas next week and book a trip. Although we do have savings, that savings is for emergencies, like the winter of 2013 when we got hit hard with the ice storm and Bella’s early arrival. I am like that space on Monopoly with our savings, try to touch it and you go straight to jail, no passing go!
5 Painless Ways To Save For Vacation
52 Week Money Challenge
This is my easiest and most rewarding way to save for vacation, or almost anything, every single year. By utilizing the super easy 52 Week Money Challenge to save money every year you will have a minimum of $1378 to put towards a vacation. Double the deposit amount and you will have $2756 at the end of the year! That is some serious change that can score you a sweet vacation. Encourage your partner to also do the challenge, maybe make a sport of it, who can complete the challenge without missing a week and have a prize for the winner (think massage, car wash etc). I like to alternate weeks going from week 1 to week 52 to week 2 and so on. Some readers have said going backwards starting at week 52 was easiest for them so near Christmas when money can be tight they are on the lower weeks where the deposits are less. Do whatever works for you to make this one of the top painless ways to save for vacation.
Yard Sale/Online Sale
I love to de-clutter my home and I love to do it often. My rule of thumb is if we have not worn, used, or played with an item that is not seasonal it goes. I currently have a nice big box of things as well as a small corner in my large furnace room with some bigger pieces that are ready to be posted online for sale. The nice weather is coming and yard sales will be in full swing. Whatever I cannot unload online or at a consignment store will go out on the driveway this spring when we have a yard sale. As I mentioned in my recent Chic On The Cheap article, selling your gently used goods is a great way to some quick cash and one of my fave painless ways to save for vacation. Also in line with this, buying gently used can also help you spend less so you can put more towards your vacation!
Change Jar Savings
You may not be able to count your pennies or save them anymore in Canada but by emptying your pockets or change purse into a jar every day can quickly add up. I can remember as a child growing up, my parents always had one of those massive water jugs that would get filled up with change. Need lunch money for school, sneak into mom and dads room to grab a couple Toonies! I like to get creative to make saving as painless as possible, I decorated a mason jar into an adult piggy bank! Sometimes it just takes a little something more than a plain jar sitting on a table to get you motivated. Try printing out a gorgeous landscape photo to line the inside of your mason jar. Then stick foam letters spelling Vacation Funds on the outside of the jar. Most importantly, put it somewhere you will see it every day, like on your kitchen counter. Every time you see your jar it will inspire you to throw your change in there to get your butt on that gorgeous beach or wherever your heart desires. Painless ways to save for vacation don’t have to be boring or make life hard, get creative and have fun.
Stop Buying Starbucks/Tim Hortons/Fast Food
Okay, I know, this one might sting just a little but if you trust me you need to do this. Don’t just do it, do it and on a spreadsheet calculate how much you save each day. Toss that money into your change jar savings. Honestly we don’t even realize sometimes how much money we actually waste on a daily basis. By making a lunch to bring to work, getting up 10 minutes earlier to make a travel coffee, cooking more meals at home you can save some big bucks. For instance, I love chicken wings, like I could eat them every single day and never get sick of them. When I would get my better half to go grab the two of us wings it would cost nearly $50 for the two of us to eat some wings and fries. I recently stopped that to save money and started making my own at home. Even when the chicken wings are not on sale I can get a pack of 25 wings for under $10 at my local grocery store, two potatoes to cut up and fry or I just grab a $1 bag of frozen fries and we have just had an amazing meal for a fraction of the cost. If you eat out 4 times per month calculate what you would spend, make meals at home and then toss the difference into savings!
Cut Cable & Go Android
If you haven’t noticed cable is ridiculously expensive and completely unnecessary in 2016. With technology the way it is and if you really sat down and asked yourself how much television you actually watch the switch can be really painless. You can buy Android boxes on Amazon for great prices and then your only other task is to call your cable company and break up. Of course depending on how much television you watched with cable you may want to get an unlimited internet package to ensure you don’t go over your current internet usage as overage fees are nasty. Calculate how much you will save every month by not having to pay that cable bill minus any additional cost of upgrading to unlimited internet and toss that coin in with your other vacation savings.
Of course you will need to be disciplined with these ways to save. Selling your used goods & buying used, cutting the cable, and refraining from fast food purchase is just the first part of saving, actually calculating the savings AND putting it into savings is just as important. If you don’t do this you risk that money potentially becoming a magician and disappearing.
Follow these painless ways to save for vacation & you can be on vacation sooner than you think!
Dreaming of your next vacation? Where will you be saving to jet off to, let me know in the comment section below!