If you’re dreaming about a fun escape this summer, now is the time to start saving for that vacation. While the average vacation costs $1,145 per person, according to CreditDonkey, there are lots of ways to make it happen for less, avoiding the need to rack up credit card debt. Even if you recently purchased a home among Austin real estate or anywhere else and don’t have a lot of cash left over after all those expenses, making even just a few minor adjustments to your daily life can have a significant impact in how much you’re able to save.
Start a Dedicated Travel Fund
If you simply stash money away into a general savings fund, the portion you need for travel can easily get lost in the shuffle, or you might end up feeling guilty for using it for that purpose. Open a dedicated savings account just for travel. If you aren’t sure how much you’ll need just yet, take a look at your end-of-year credit card statements to figure out how much you spent on travel the year before. Divide the total by 12 and aim to put that amount into your travel fund. Setting up automatic deposits makes it much easier as you won’t even have to think about it. If you don’t use it all, you can always roll it over to next year. You may also want to get a jar and toss in all your change at the end of each day – it can add up fast and can be used for extra spending money.
Dine Out Less
Dining out is almost always more expensive than eating in. Try to cut down on all those meals out, as well as daily coffee. Make your coffee at home in the morning or enjoy it at the office and bring your lunch as often as you can. Toss the extra you would have spent into your travel savings fund.
Find Out If Your Credit Cards Can Help You Save
Check with each one of your credit cards to see if they offer rewards programs you aren’t taking advantage of. If you don’t already have one, consider getting a card that accumulates air miles then use it for as many of your regular expenses as you can (paying off the balance each month to avoid the debt). You may end up being able to fly for free when it’s vacation time. Some cards offer points for hotel and dining discounts too. When applying for new cards, check for credit card sign-up bonuses as many offer a significant number of miles or points just for being a new cardholder.
Sell Items You Aren’t Using
If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of stuff lying around that you don’t use at all, from clothing you’ve outgrown to exercise equipment, collectibles and even items that you consider junk that someone else might think of as treasures. You can hold a yard sale, post an ad on Nextdoor.com or Craiglist, or sell your stuff on eBay. Everything you make can go right into your travel savings fund.
Cut Household Expenses
Look for ways to cut back on your household expenses, from getting rid of cable and streaming instead to asking your insurer about possible discounts, reducing your energy bills by going easy on the heat and a/c, or even renting out a room in your house.
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