by Marsha Shomidie
VP, Pleasant Plains Branch Manager
1. Start a dedicated savings account.
Price your destination and all related vacation expenses to figure out how much you need to save. Then calculate how much you’ll need to contribute to the savings account each week or each month.
2. Set aside money specifically for vacation.
You can save many ways, so decide what’s easier for you. You could:
• contribute a set weekly amount
• set up a change jar that the whole family contributes to
• participate in the 52-week challenge. The challenge entails saving $1 more each week – so $1 the first week, $2 the second week and so on. After a year, you will have accumulated $1,378.
3. Push your fun for later.
Instead of thinking about it as giving something up, choose to realize that you’re not doing something now so that you can have fun on vacation. Skip eating out once a week and add that $50 into your vacation fund. Challenge yourself to eat from the pantry for a week instead of grocery shopping, and put that $100 toward your savings goal. Give up a subscription, make your coffee at home, or rent movies from the library instead of watching in the theater – whatever you feel you can live without now will help to build your vacation fund.
4. Earn more money.
You could sell some stuff online that you no longer need or have a garage sale. You could dedicate extra income like a tax refund or a bonus to your vacation savings, or you could make an effort to pick up an extra shift at work, work overtime, or earn income with a side job.
5. Use credit cards rewards to your advantage.
With many credit cards, you earn rewards points with the money that you spend. You can then use these points for airplane tickets, gift cards for gas stations, hotel stays and more.
6. Reduce travel expenses.
You won’t have to save as much if you don’t spend as much. Get creative with saving money by doing things like bringing food for your lunches on a road trip. Pack so that you don’t have to pay to check a bag on your flight. Do some research to figure out when is the best time to book your plane tickets and hotel for inexpensive rates. Check out sites like Groupon or BaZing for discounts on activities or restaurants.
With a little forethought and easy action steps, any dream destination is within your reach.