Yep, I said the icky word….BUDGET! Ugh, for me it’s a headache to think about as my husband is way more budget saavy than me. But ya know what? When you really want something and money might be an issue, this word will become your best friend and confidant. It can overwhelming to sit down and try to hash out a number and ways to save, so I’m giving you a heads start on what has worked my family when planning vacations.
1. Set a Budget
When you decide and have your heart set on going on a vacation, the first thing you need to do is decide how much or what you can spend on a trip. Be sure to include things such as airline tickets (if applicable), food costs, rental car costs, souvenir costs and emergency costs. Once you have a set number planned, it creates a goal in mind and a road map to your destination. Next, you need to stick to your budget! It can be very easy to want to do everything. Of course, if you decide to adjust your budget to accommodate more activities, etc, that’s great, just be prepared to stick to that new budget.
2. Book Early/Make Payments
I encourage my travel clients all of the time to BOOK EARLY. When you book early, you can get the best rates and guarantee your package/room/cruise, etc and have more time to save knowing the end is in sight. Most destinations offer payment plans which is a great way to include your vacation money into your monthly payments. After an initial deposit, you can make payments (most of the time however much you want), as often as you like until the remaining balance is due.
3. Open a Dedicated Vacation Bank Account
Opening a vacation bank account is another way to budget for your vacation. You can have a monthly payment automatically transferred into your account, taking the thought out of the process, but knowing you are saving for the big departure day. OR you can go “old-school” and have a vacation envelope that you put cash in every month or a vacation money jar (that’s how my parents did it in the 80s?
4. Cut Back on Frugal Spending
This one is tough because it really forces you to take an honest look at how much you spend on “unnecessary” luxuries. It’s a real eye-opener for me, that’s for sure! Simple things like cutting back on eating out (preparing meals ahead of time is a great way to do this); maybe skip that coffee you buy every morning, have more date-nights at home or cancel unnecessary subscriptions for the time being. You might be surprised how much money you spend a month on these “small” purchases!
This brings up another plan to have….plan for potential splurges!! It’s sometimes inevitable (especially at Disney, lol). You come home with more souvenirs than you thought. You enjoyed a few more nice restaurants than you expected. You just spent money on more crap than you thought you would? Don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of us. Just plan for those potential splurges and include it in your budget.
5. Get a part-time/seasonal job
Sometimes getting a side gig or seasonal job can make all the difference in saving money for a vacation. Don’t want or aren’t able to pick up a side job?, maybe ask for a few extra hours on your shift at work. There is money to be made, you just have to go for it!!
I hope this gives you a good head start in setting and sticking to budget for your next vacation. Schedule your Complimentary Consultation Here!