How to Save For Your Summer VacationBy Caitlin in Money
Have you already started to dream about that tropical vacation you want to take this summer? Researching the locations with the best weather and the resorts with the best amenities and activities all the while dreaming of relaxing in the sun and on the beach can be just as fun as the vacation itself, but when the tickets are finalized and the payments are due reality can ruin all the excitement.
The one thing that could add to the fun of a vacation is not having to worry about paying for it after you return home.
Below is a list of some easy things that you can do to start saving for that tropical vacation you’ve always dreamt of. Follow a few of these easy tips and not only will you save all the money you need for your trip but you might just find that you’ve saved a little extra.
Reduce the cost of your cellphone plan
While we understand that cellphones are an important part of almost everyone’s life, paying an arm and a leg every month is not necessary. Contact your cellular provider and see if you can down grade your plan to one that is a little bit cheaper. You may have to live with few less minutes for several months but the money you save each month will add up to a pretty significant amount that can go straight into your vacation fund.
Choose a cheaper Internet provider
Just like cellphones the Internet is a very important part of life, but it’s also something that many people over pay for. Yes you probably enjoy your fast connection but it could be worth it to check out other providers to see if you can get a similar plan but for a lesser price. Of course you can always switch back to a better plan after you’ve saved up enough for your vacation.
Cancel your gym membership
Let’s be real, how often to you really go to the gym? If once a week or once a month is your answer then canceling your gym membership could be a great way for you to save a significant amount of money for your vacation fund.
Of course if you do take advantage of your gym membership on a regular basis than you might not want to give it up, but it could also be worth canceling it for at least a couple of months to save up that extra money.
There are endless ways you can exercise without spending any money at all. Free workout videos online that require no free weights, free exercise plans and routines that can be found on fitness blogs and jogging or running around your neighbourhood are all great ways to keep in shape for free.
Cancel your cable or satellite
With so many online entertainment options today cable or satellite are becoming unnecessary. How many of the hundreds of channels that you pay for monthly do you really watch? The answer is probably less than 10 but you continue to pay the bill every month and it could be costing you a relaxing vacation this summer.
If you don’t want to completely cancel your cable or satellite service than at least consider a down grade to a smaller plan and a cheaper bill.
Stop eating out so much and bring your own lunch to work
Figure out exactly how much you spend on eating out at lunch each week and brace yourself because the amount is probably way more than you thought.
Start packing a lunch every night for the next day so that you won’t have to worry about it in the morning and be tempted to go out for lunch instead. Not only will you save a significant amount of money for your trip, your lunches will probably be healthier as they will be fresh and homemade.
If you’re not convinced yet let’s look at the numbers. Lunch usually costs about $7 and if you eat out 5 times a week that’s $35 a week. If you start now and are going on your vacation at the beginning of July you’ll save around $400, just from packing a lunch.
Skip the daily trip to the coffee shop
Much like eating out for lunch every day, the cost of buying a coffee every morning can start to add up. Even if you buy a reasonably priced coffee from a small coffee shop and avoid the larger more expensive chain coffee shops, that small amount of money every day of the week for several months could add a significant amount towards your dream vacation.
Why not instead bring your own coffee from home? Most people who drink coffee already own a coffee machine, purchase an inexpensive travel mug and brew your own pot each morning. This way you won’t be tempted to pick up a coffee on your way to the office and you can add all the money you’ll save into your vacation fund.
Spend less on entertainment
If you are really committed to saving for your vacation sometimes making sacrifices are necessary. Entertainment and going out at night can be extremely expensive and it can start to add up especially if you like to going out several times a week.
There are of course lots of less expensive activities that you can find to do in your local community. If you love going out to eat in the summer with you friends, suggest a picnic instead where everyone brings something. Find a nice park to sit in and bring a soccer ball or Frisbee. Plan at home movie nights and suggest alternatives to going out, this way you won’t miss out on the fun your friends are having and you will save some money for your vacation.
Reduce your grocery bill
Check your newspaper and fliers for sales at grocery stores; reducing your grocery bill is a great way to save a little bit of extra money every week. Plan your meals ahead of time that way once you’re in the store you know exactly what you need and will be a little less tempted to purchases expensive and unnecessary items.
Have a yard sale
Spring has officially started so why not do some spring cleaning and pick out some items that you never use anymore and have a yard sale?
Try setting up a yard sale with your neighbours or some of your friends that way you’ll attract more attention and maybe even sell more.
Join a carpool or take public transportation
Gas is a huge expense especially if you’re driving to and from work five days a week. Find out if any of your colleagues live close to you and suggest a car pool, chances are they’re also looking to save some money and will jump at the opportunity.
If car pools aren’t your thing then take public transportation. While the idea of taking the bus or train to work with thousands of other people might not be that appealing once you see how much money you’re saving on gas you’ll probably continue to take public transportation to work even after your vacation is all paid off.
Open a new savings account
w savings account for your vacation fund? This way you’ll have a place to put all the money you’ve been trying really hard to save and you’ll be able to see the exact amount you’ve saved each month.