Top Ways to Save Money for Your Trip

You have tried to save for that fantasy trip and it still seems like a pipedream. Isn’t it time to pull in the reins and get serious? There are some simple strategies for setting goals, earning a little extra cash, creating a vacation fund, and saving money. The following are five top ways to save money for your dream vacation.

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One – Assess your dream and set goals:

First you need to decide if your vision is practical. The old adage is generally true, ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. Many times, making your dream a reality means that you’ll have to make decisions. Determine how much the trip will cost and berealistic. Factor in the cost of transportation, accommodations, food, supplies, and activities. Create a spreadsheet and map out your projected travel dates, then divide the total amount of money you’ll need into monthly increments.

Two – Create a game plan:

Once you’ve set realistic goals and created a spreadsheet, you can set your plan into action. You will want to take a hard look at your current budget to determine where and when you can cut back. You may also need to find ways to generate additional income. Sell items you no longer need on eBay, get a second job, and/or make a little extra cash the fun way! Establishing a firm budget, and adding extra income, is the best ways to achieve your goal.

Three – Put your plan in motion:

If you haven’t been keeping a budget, now’s the time to start tracking purchases and income. Record everything. At the end of each month reassesses and determine where you need to make adjustments. Fill in the spreadsheet and keep a record of ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. You’ll be surprised to see what you can do without!

Four – Start a vacation fund:

It usually isn’t enough to keep a record of savings. It is often necessary to set up a dedicated savings account and then deposit money into the account on a regular basis. If you create an account where making deposits and transfers are trouble-free, you’re more likely to see your savings multiply. And remember not to withdraw money until you’re ready to take that dream trip!

Five – Save, save, save!

This is both the most difficult task and the easiest. There are so many ways to cut back on spending. However, saving money usually means changing habits. With your vacation goal in mind, you’ll find it easier to remain motivated. Start eating at home, pack lunches, make your own coffee, and cut out all those snacks and bottled drinks.  Use less gasoline, walk to work or take the bus. Reduce your utility bills, unplug appliances, give up the TV cable, monitor water usage, turn back (off) the thermostat, open the windows, and kill the air-conditioning. If you’re a smoker, quit. Fore-go the gym membership and exercise out-of-doors for free. Create your own home spa-treatments, decrease the frequency of trips to the hair-salon, host a clothing exchange, and skip that new pair of shoes.

Once you’re on a roll, you’ll discover just how easy it is to create new habits and save. Using these five ways to save money, you’ll find that you’re well on your way to that dream vacation after all!

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Written by Ross French