Vacations are fun, but they are also extremely important. Studies show that taking vacations regularly help us reduce chronic stress, improve relationships, and make us more productive in our work. While most of us want to take vacations, few of us can actually afford it. These 5 foolproof ways to save for vacation will help you afford the getaway that you want – and maybe even need!
1) Open up a savings account dedicated to travel and vacations
Sure, most of us have a savings, and maybe we add some money in there to help us grow our vacation fund, but what happens when an emergency arises, or when getting a new outfit suddenly seems more pressing than saving up for Hawaii? By establishing an account that is to be used for – and only for – vacations, we are less likely to dip into our vacation fund for other needs.
Aside from ensuring you don’t touch our vacation money until you go on vacation, seeing your money in a separate account, and knowing that’s all money you can spend on your next vaca, will motivate you to save even more.
Open your vacation-dedicated fund, and start by setting up direct deposits of $10/week into that account. Bump that amount up to $25/week if you can afford it. In 6 months from now you’ll already have $650 stocked away!
2) Use your “extra” paycheck to fund your next vaca
If you get paid on a every-other-Friday payday schedule, you will receive two “extra” paychecks per year. Usually people on the every-other-Friday schedule get two paychecks per month, but there are two months each year where they get three paychecks in one month. Figure out when your extra check is coming, and plan to save the whole thing – or part of it for vacation. When my extra paychecks roll around, I take $500 out and put it into my travel account. That’s $1,000 right there!
3) Make a pact to deposit gift money into your travel savings account
If you get cash for birthdays, Christmas, graduations, etc. make it a habit of depositing that extra money into your travel savings. Sure, you could go buy a new top with that money, but doesn’t a mai tai on the beach in Hawaii sound like a better use for it?
4) Use an automated savings app
Apps that save money automatically for you are a great way to save money in small amounts, without even noticing it’s gone. Download Digit, and connect it to your checking account. Digit allows you to set a savings goal, in a specified amount of time, and the app will save that amount for you, but periodically transferring small sums of money from your checking account. They have a no-overdraft guarantee, so you won’t feel any financial hardship saving this way. I use Digit to partially fund my travels each year, and save about $1,500 with them annually. It’s seriously the easiest way to save money!
5) Adopt a “match” system
When it comes to saving money, I am all for the “match” system. The match system is where you make a pact to save the exact amount of money you spend doing something you probably shouldn’t. So for me, I choose to match eating out at restaurants. I know I shouldn’t do it, so to incentivize myself to eat out less, I make it a habit to move whatever amount of money I spent on dining, into my savings. This is kind of a right + wrong cancel each other out mindset. If I spend $40 on a dinner, I move $40 into savings. You can adopt a similar system, and just put the “match” money into your travel savings account.
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