Taking a vacation shouldn’t put you in debt. But if you want to take a more extravagant vacation than your usual budget permits, don’t worry! Whether you’re planning a tour of Europe or a week in Disney World, you can still make that dream trip – all it takes is some extra saving and a lot of pre-planning. Here’s how you can start right now at preparing your savings for a great vacation.
Open a dedicated banking account
Keep yourself from the temptation of spending your vacation money by opening a bank account dedicated solely to funding your next vacation. Each month, take some of the money you would otherwise spend on fun family activities such as trips out to dinner or to the movies, and put it into your vacation bank account. Bonus: some banks offer a cash bonus–sometimes a quite significant one–to customers opening a new account.
Save money on food
I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably overspending on food. There are countless ways to save money on your food budget, especially if you have kids or a big family. Buy dry goods in bulk, opt for frozen or dried goods over canned, and earn money back with phone apps like Checkout51 or Ibotta. Some grocery stores even allow you to save money by filling out surveys.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to save money on produce by joining a CSA or co op. These allow you to get fruits, vegetables and other foods directly from local farmers. You may also be able to save money by buying produce at a farmers market. Or if you have a green thumb (or even if you don’t) try your hand at growing some of your own food. Tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers are all unbelievably easy to produce, even for novice gardeners.
Drop your gym membership
Let’s be honest–you’re probably not using it. Even if you’re dedicated to your daily workout, you can do just as good a job from home. Buy some hand weights and an exercise ball and use any number of exercise-focused YouTube channels. Or see if your community center offers exercise classes or a small workout space. Many do, and these are often much cheaper than those offered at a local commercial gym. Alternatively, you can check to see whether gyms in your area are offering free trial memberships and take advantage of those deals.