You have long dreamed of the perfect vacation. Perhaps it is relaxing on a white, sandy beach in the Caribbean; maybe it is a year-long hitchhike around the globe. Whichever appeals, there is one common sticking point – money.
Unfortunately, the dream vacation is rarely cheap. Travel, food, and accommodation costs make up the bulk of expenses, but additional outlays such as the price of insurance and vacation clothes must also be considered. To afford your perfect trip, then you are going to need to save up.
Plan First, Save Second
Planning before you begin to save might seem like an odd idea, but it helps you set goals. Goals help you save by knowing roughly how much you need to save, and by having a destination in mind, you will naturally be more motivated to set some money aside each week or month.
For Americans, Europe, Central America, and Canada remain popular as dream destinations, while New York City tops domestic travel numbers. Depending on where it is you want to go, your saving target will differ. That is why planning is so important.
Keep Monthly Budgets
One of the first steps to knowing how much you can save is to work out how much you can spend. By keeping comprehensive monthly budgets that trace all of your income and outgoings, you can see, on average how much, and where you would be able to save per month if you started making small cutbacks.
For instance, you may discover upon keeping a budget that you spend more than you thought on groceries. This could then be a target for your cost-cutting measures.
Rather than cutting huge swathes of expenditure from your life, save up by saving small. As mentioned, being more cost-effective with your groceries is an excellent way of doing this, as is reducing energy bills or finding a cheaper way to travel to work. Putting the money, you would usually have spent on these items into your savings pot instead will soon add up.
Make Savvy Business Decisions
If you are an employee and take home your monthly salary packet, sadly, there is probably little you can do in business terms to help save yourself some money. However, if you are self-employed or the owner of your own small business, there are decisions you can make that will improve your saving habits.
One such method could be to spend less on business utility bills. You could save money by changing business water suppliers to a different company; price comparison and switching are made easy by the internet. Cutting back on water or electricity bills could be a real lifeline for a small business owner looking to spend less and travel more.
Use the targets you set to motivate yourself.
It sounds cliché, but having a small scrapbook or a poster with images of where you are saving up to go will help you visualize the task and encourage you to stay strong – to put $10 in the vacation jar rather than call the pizza delivery man.