If you’re like me, you have a warm beach vacation on your mind the instant the weather gets colder. While winter is (fortunately) months away, now’s the time to start saving if you want to escape the cold when it arrives.
Here are three strategies to help you save for your next getaway.
- Have a no-spend month.
Make a commitment to spend money only on necessities like groceries, rent, gas, utilities, insurance, etc. for one month – or more. This means no new clothes, no Starbucks and no dining out. Put all of the money you save from cutting the extras into your travel fund. It’s amazing how quickly the savings on a happy hour here and a pair of jeans there can add up.
Bonus! Recruit a friend or significant other to do a no-spend month with you. Partnering with someone with a similar goal will help hold you accountable to your savings pledge.
- Try a 52-week savings challenge.
To accomplish this challenge, save the dollar amount that corresponds with the current week of the year. For example, the first week of the year, save $1, save $2 the second week and $3 the third week; keep going until you reach the last week of the year, saving $52 for week 52. If you use this method, your savings will add up to $1,378 by the end of the year. That could more than cover a vacation.
Didn’t start this challenge on January 1? Don’t fret – if you start today by putting $20 away for the 20th week of the year, your tally will still reach $1,188!
- Factor traveling directly into your budget.
Once you have a savings goal and timeline established, determine what’s reasonable for you to save each week or month. Then, factor that amount into your weekly or monthly budget, right alongside your rent, groceries, insurance and other set expenses. This will ensure you're dedicating money to your vacation first, before factoring in dining out or other extras.
To help with this, consider using a budgeting app, setting up automatic transfers on payroll or creating weekly or monthly calendar events to remind you it’s time to make a transfer.
Happy saving and Bon Voyage!