5 Simple Ways to Save Money for Your Next Vacation
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Ahh….vacation. Winter, summer, spring, or fall, in fact ANYTIME of the year, vacations ROCK! They’re even better when you’ve paid for them in cash, so today we’re going to share five ways to save money for your next vacation. Whether it’s a trip to a tropical oasis, a long-awaited journey to a foreign land or a vacation in a snowy wonderland, we all love a nice getaway.
We all know people (or have done it ourselves) who get bitten by the travel bug and go without thinking beforehand about how to pay for it. Weekend getaways, week-long vacations, and even cruises are all commonly funded by a credit card. The problem with this is that it leaves a payment (and sometimes a big one) long after the vacation fun is done. It’s much more satisfying to save up the money for your vacation BEFORE you take it.
It might seem like a lofty goal to save up the money you need for your next vacation before you take it, but consider these ways to make it happen.
ways to save Money for your vacation
#1 Challenge Everything – Choose to implement a “Challenge Everything” budget and challenge each monthly expense, seeing where you can lower costs. Can you save money on car insurance? Can you lower your cable bill? Can you save money on groceries? Evaluate each and every monthly expense, cutting costs where you can. Then put all monthly cost savings into your vacation account.
#2 Save Unexpected Money – Getting a tax refund? A bonus at work? Did you receive money for your birthday? Instead of spending unexpected cash on an instant gratification purchase, put all unexpected money into your vacation fund. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up. We have a specific savings bucket at Discover Bank for this purpose as they offer the best rate currently available on savings accounts. It’s not a lot, but every little extra helps.
#3 Sell Stuff You Don’t Need – A trip around your house, garage and storage area will likely reveal a good number of things you no longer use or need. Sell those things via a garage sale, on Craiglist, your Facebook group or Ebay, or by visiting your local consignment stores and put the cash you earn toward your vacation.
#4 Get a Side Hustle – There’s a long list of side hustles you can take on to save money for your next vacation. You can get a part-time job at a local retail store, pizza delivery shop or by working for a company such as Uber. You can make a list of your skills and market them accordingly in order to make extra money. For instance, if you’re great at working on home repairs, advertise your services as a handyman. If you have skills such as writing, editing or assisting others, offer your services to online sites such as Elance. There are many side hustles out there, whether temporary or permanent, that can help you increase your income as you save money for your next vacation.
#5 Learn to Churn – Another great way to save money for your next vacation is to take advantage of the many credit cards out there. Some of the best credit cards offer airline travel miles and hotel points – here are some of the best ones available. It’s not unreasonable to expect an extraordinarily cheap or even free vacation via churning credit cards. Read one of Frugal Rules’ many credit card churning articles for tips on how to maximize your money-earning potential via credit card churning. If you do go this route just make sure to only use the cards for spending you’d be doing anyway; because no vacation is worth getting in debt for.
You’ve worked hard over this past year managing your money well and doing what you must to live a value-based spending life. Is it time to reward yourself with a well-deserved vacation? If so, increase the pleasure of that vacation by using the tips above to pay for it in cash. You’ll come home from that vacation well-rested and free of unnecessary debt.
Where did you go on your last vacation? Did you put it on credit or did you save up for it beforehand? Have you ever tried credit card churning before?