With summer winding down, you might already be thinking about your next vacation. While planning a vacation can be an exciting time, it can also be stressful trying to come up with the budget to finance your next vacation. If you’re running a little short on cash this year, then you might want to consider starting your planning and budgeting early so that you enjoy your vacation stress-free without worrying about how you’ll pay for it!
Take a look at some of these budgeting tips we’ve gathered to help you start saving for your next dream vacation. The earlier you start, the sooner you’ll be on your way!
Learn to invest
Learning to properly invest your money can not only prepare you for an emergency but it can also help you save money for your next vacation. There are many short term investment opportunities like high interest savings accounts and certificates of deposit that are relatively low risk yet can start to generate some serious cash. Keep in mind that in the finance world “short term” can mean a few years so if you’re thinking about investing, it’s important to start as soon as possible.
If you’re not sure where to start, choose a well-trusted financial investing service like the Motley Fool. Not only do they provide a wealth of information about investing but with a paid subscription their financial advisors will hand pick some great investment opportunities for your portfolio. By using a Motley Fool discount, you can even enjoy a discount on your next paid membership. Start earning money to put toward your dream vacation today!
Utilize cash back rewards cards
One of the easiest ways that you can save some money to fund your next vacation is through cash back rewards cards. There’s two ways that you go about it: either use a cashback credit card throughout the year to earn extra cash or book your entire vacation on a credit card to earn back a nice portion of the money you spend. Either way make sure to shop around to find the best credit card that offers favorable terms and make sure that you’re well informed about any fees and interest charges associated with your new card.
Get serious about a budget
All the money in the world won’t matter if you don’t get serious about following a budget. It’s important to treat your vacation plans just like you would any other expense. Before you even decide on your budget figure out exactly how much your vacation will cost you. Don’t forget to include things like:
- Airfare or travel expenses
- Hotels or other lodgings
- A daily food and entertainment budget
- Pet Sitting fees if applicable
- Extra cash for emergencies
Now that you’ve got a rough estimate of your vacation expenses, figure out how many weeks you have until your vacation day. Divide the cost of your vacation by the amount of weeks you have to save and you’ll know exactly how much money you have to put away each week to afford your travel plans.
If you’re looking for a way to save on your actual travel plans, then opt for a vacation during one of the off-seasons. Christmas, New Years, Easter and the late summer months are notoriously expensive times to travel. If you’re looking to save a few bucks on your next vacation, and you’re flexible with the travel dates, schedule a vacation between January – March or September – November. Those are considered by travel experts to be some of the cheapest times to travel!
Open a dedicated vacation savings account
If you’ve planned your vacation and made your budget but you have a hard time sticking to it, consider opening a dedicated vacation savings account. By placing all the money you’re saving for your next vacation into a dedicated savings account, you’re not only less likely to spend it but you’ll also get motivated as you see the amount growing. Shop around as some banks even offer some incentives to open a savings account such as being able to earn interest on your savings.