By Kate Arnold
Planning for a trip can be so fun, saving for one… Not so much. Here are some of my tips and tricks to make saving for a trip easier.
Set a Goal
First thing is first, you need to set a goal. Work out how much you want (or need) to take away with you and what time frame you have to save it up in. You need to know exactly how much of every pay check you need to put away. Say you have eight months (or 32 weeks) and you want to save $10,000, this means (if you get paid weekly) you’ll need to put $312.5 of each pay check into your holiday fund.
Put it Out of Reach
Set up an account that is for your designated holiday fund, preferably with another institution to your regular bank so that when you are doing your everyday banking you don’t see that money there. If the money is out of sight and out of mind you won’t be tempted to skim a little off the top when you’re dying for a fro-yo and you’re waiting for pay day to come around. Make sure this money is safely stored away in a savings account with high interest and no card attached to the account. Bonus points if there’s a waiting period for transferring the money back into your regular account that you can spend from. Most institutions allow you to rename your accounts and if you have this option then you should take advantage of this feature and rename the account ‘Holiday Fund’ or ‘Japan Trip 2018’. This will remind you what this money is for if you are ever tempted to skim some money off the top.
Sell Your Stuff
If you look around you, you can probably find something that you don’t like or need that you can sell on eBay or Gum Tree. The average person have $2000 worth of unwanted items in their house, including old models of phones and laptops, unused furniture and appliances and barely worn clothing. Have a look and see what you could turn into money.
Get a Side Hustle
Whether it’s baby sitting, dog walking, waiting tables, taking online surveys, tutoring, delivering Uber Eats or Uber driving there’s a side hustle out there that will earn you a bit extra dosh that you can put towards your holiday. You could start freelancing if you have any writing, photography or editing skills. What ever kind of side hustle you get, if you get it with the intention of bolstering your holiday fund, make sure 100% of your earnings go into your designated holiday account.
Know Where You Spend
Before you can change your spending habits you need to be aware of your current ones. Print out three months worth of bank statements and go through each transaction, highlighting any transactions you don’t remember buying as well as all of your purchases of dinner and drinks out, getting take away or ordering in, going to see movies, concerts or show and shopping for things you don’t need.
If you are saving for a holiday (or anything) you need to rethink where you spend your money and you need to reduce the amount of disposable spending you do. Disposable purchases are things like shopping, entertainment or dining out, which should be the first things you cut out of your budget.
Tell Your Friends
Accountability is huge when it comes to finance goals and having a friend hold you accountable can be just the drive you need to stick to your goals. If you are travelling with a friend you can become saving buddies and check in with each other’s progress and talk about your saving strategies. Telling your friends (and family) will also help make them aware that you’re committed to not spending excessively for the moment and that you don’t currently have room in your budget for eating out and going to see movies. If they invite you to go out for dinner, remind them that you are saving for your trip and instead invite them to your place for a meal that you can make and enjoy with wine. If a friend asks you to go see a movie with you, suggest that they instead come over and watch a Netflix movie/TV show with snacks, drinks and blanket forts. Cinemas can’t compete with blanket forts.
Treat Yo Self
Saving hard core can be dispiriting, especially when you feel like you are missing out on going out with your friends and depriving yourself. Don’t forget to treat yourself when you hit milestones. Maybe you and your friend can go out for a cocktail after you’ve saved your first $1000. Maybe you can go out for your favourite meal when you’ve hit the half way mark. Maybe you can buy a book that you are really excited about or get a cheap ticket to a concert or show that you really want to see. Don’t go overboard and spend hundreds of dollars and undo all your hard work but plan something that you can look forward to while you’re deep in the midst of frugality.
Saving money can be the least exciting part of planning a trip but if you implement some of these tips into your strategy you’ll find financing your holiday less painful. What are your tips for saving for a trip? Leave a comment, let’s create a wealth of money saving knowledge.