That’s right… I said STUPID easy! Summer is a great time of the year that is often filled with families and friends taking vacations. Unfortunately, when summer is over and the kids go back to school many people are faced with the reality of the fact that they charged their vacation on their credit card because they hadn’t saved in advance.
Next year can be different though! If you start following these easy tips to save for your next vacation today, you should easily be able to have enough money in time for a nice family vacation next summer.
Start A Change Or Small Bills Jar
This easy vacation saving tip is for those of us who still use cash on a regular basis (which isn’t me). There are two great ways to save using this strategy depending on how much you need for your vacation.
The first method is the change jar. Whenever you end up with any change from breaking a bill, you put the change in a jar until your vacation. For most people, this likely won’t be enough to pay for a whole vacation, but the second variation, the small bills jar, might.
The small bills jar is the same concept as a change jar except instead of putting just change in the jar, you put any small bills in the jar as well. What you define as a small bill is completely up to you and how much you’ll need for your vacation. You can opt for just $1′s, $5′s, $10′s, $20′s or any combination of bills you want.
Save Miscellaneous Extra Income or Windfalls
This is a strategy I always used to save money when I was growing up. Whenever I’d come across any unexpected money I’d put it straight in my savings account. These days I don’t get the same types of miscellaneous income I received as a kid (birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc) but I do end up with other random amounts of money from rebates checks, bonuses from work, money found on the ground, tax refunds (which is really money owed to you) and any other random income you come across.
Save Part of Every Paycheck In A Vacation Fund
This is the most reliable and responsible way to save for your next vacation and it is how we personally save for our vacations. Every paycheck we put a set amount of money into a targeted savings account at our bank.
If you have a set amount you want to spend on your vacations each year, divide that by the number of paychecks in a year. If you’ve already budgeted for your next vacation and it is less than a year away, take the amount of your next vacation and divide it by the number of paychecks until your next vacation. Just remember to plan to have a little extra money in case things don’t go according to plan.
Save Credit Card Rewards For Vacations
Credit card rewards are one of my favorite ways to save for vacation. I routinely look for the best sign up bonus credit cards to earn large chunks of money toward my next vacation. Sometimes I find a great deal on an airline credit card and other times I just find a great general cash back offer that will allow me to put money toward my next vacation.
If you’re interested, click here to see the best bonus cards out there today. (updated regularly)
Be careful though, some of the vacation type credit cards such as the Carnival Cruise credit card and Disney credit cards don’t really offer the best value. I’d recommend going for a more normal credit card that isn’t associated with any given vacation brand in most cases. They generally will give you better bang per dollar spent.
How do you save for your vacations? Do you follow one of the methods above, or do you save in a different way?
P.S. You might want to check back on Friday to see another cool way you can pay for your vacation. It might involve you winning something…