With summer drawing closer, your vacation may arrive before you've got the money to pay for it. But there are some quick changes you can make now to save or raise money for your trip. Consider these tips:
Open a designated savings account
After estimating the overall cost of your vacation, set up a savings account just for the trip. This will help separate that money from your regular savings and make it easier to track progress toward your goal.
Look at last month's account statements from your financial institution to see what you spend in a given week. Then determine how much you can contribute to your vacation fund each week and make that part of your budget. Putting the money away weekly instead of monthly will make this more of a priority in your life.
Track spending with a budgeting app
To pinpoint what's going out of your account, let a budgeting app be your guide. Many popular apps let you categorize transactions and see overviews of your daily spending in a few taps or clicks.
Create an automatic savings plan
If you still find it difficult to save regularly, set up an automatic transfer from your checking balance to a savings account. This way you can allocate a percentage of your income and remove the temptation to spend money that should be going into vacation savings.
Reduce leisure spending
If vacation is the time to splurge, make the weeks before you go more restrained in your lifestyle. Minimize your trips to coffee shops, restaurants and movie theaters. Instead, brew your own coffee, cook more meals and watch films in your living room.
Get a side job
If you find yourself with extra time in your week, consider taking on a part-time job. See if you can watch any neighbors' pets or homes while they're away, or baby-sit. If you're an avid writer or an academic, look into freelance writing or tutoring. Even a few hours of paid work a week can add up.
Sell unwanted belongings
To raise money more quickly than through a job, go through your home and collect anything you don't need, from old books to furniture. Then sell your stuff online or in a yard sale.
Preparing for your summer vacation with these seven tactics can help ease the stress of funding all your travel expenses. This way you can stay in control of your finances and have no financial baggage when you return.
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