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8 Easy Steps on How to Save for Your Vacation

Sandra Sherk

You’ve worked hard and as a reward you want to travel and maybe take a trip or two this year, but you don’t want to deal with any post-vacation debt. (Smart.) Don’t be like the lady in my last Blog who was still paying for a trip two years after she took it. You want to save money for travel, and the trick to saving is establishing a vacation goal and savings plan.

A vacation is a goal.  It gives you something specific to plan and save for—an incentive, a purpose. So here are my steps on how to save your money for your next getaway and achieve your financial goal.

1. Do your homework. Determine the kind of vacation you want and what it will cost you. It’s important to be realistic when it comes to how much you can afford to spend on your vacation.  If you set an unrealistic savings goal, you’ll be disappointed when you can’t achieve it. You want to be successful. Also be realistic when figuring out how much money you’ll need in your vacation budget. Include all of your travel expenses, including tips, cab rides, bus fares, exchange rates, etc. This will make it easier establishing your vacation savings plan and achieving your vacation goal.

2. Put it in writing. Putting your vacation savings down in writing makes it more real. Start by writing down the total amount of money you’ll need and the date you will need it by, then work backwards. Figure out how much money you’ll need to save every week between now and that date to achieve your vacation goal.

3. Add your vacation fund to your Monthly Budget. Once you’ve established your vacation fund it’s important you add it to your Monthly Budget. Don’t have a monthly budget? Download our free Money Management & Budgeting booklet. Inside you’ll find a Budgeting Worksheet you can use to help start building your budget.    

4. Open a separate savings account. And watch the balance grow. If savings isn’t your forte set up an account and DON’T attach it to your debit card. This way you’re not tempted to use your travel funds when you’re out shopping.  When my sister Judi was younger and wanted to save for a specific item, she opened a joint account with our Mum and set it up so that a withdrawal required both of their signatures. She told Mum not to sign a withdrawal request until it was for the goal item. Judi regularly (sometimes begrudgingly) put funds into this account and didn’t make a withdrawal until she paid for her goal – her wedding dress.

5. Set up an automatic deposit. You can also arrange for an automatic deposit to go into your travel account every payday.  Most people don’t miss the funds if they don’t see the money in the first place.

6. Tell somebody. It’s helpful to tell someone about your vacation goal to make you more accountable.  We all want to be successful, especially in front of others.  And that person can encourage you to keep going when you may be tempted to give up. 

7. Start a Travel Jar. Another way you can help save money for your next vacation is by throwing all your coins into a jar at the end of the day. These funds can then be transferred to your vacation savings account.

8. Track the money gobblers in your life.  How much are you spending on your daily tea or coffee? Do you withdraw funds from another bank’s ATM? Just one of those withdrawals could cost you $6.  Look at the various ways your money is being gobbled up dollar by dollar. Our free Monthly Spending Tracker can help you identify those small expenses gobbling up your trip fund.

These 8 easy steps offer you ways on how to save money for a trip.  Start now and I wish you bon voyage when you’ve achieved your vacation goal without going into post-vacation debt.

Watch for my next Blog on Planning a Vacation on a Budget!

Vacation Savings Resources:




Topics: Vacations

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