This year we have had difficulty keeping our bills current with decreased income due to the recession; nevertheless, my husband and I both agreed that we had to find a way to save for vacation. Our family vacation might not be as grand as in past years but the important things like spending time together, relaxing and having some much needed time away from work would be worth every penny. The question, once we decided to book our vacation, then became how we would pay for the vacation. Dropping spare change in a jar would not do it this year – – that was great for extra fun money on vacation but we needed far more spare change than that jar holds to pay for the entire vacation. After brainstorming and spending time looking at our budget and schedules, we decided on seven ways to save money for a vacation.
1. Writing for Associated Content – I love writing for AC and the money I earn is nice to have as an extra income. Normally I transfer money from my PayPal account to use for unexpected expenses. I decided to dedicate an extra hour per day to write additional articles to earn extra money for vacation. We transfer these funds into a savings account we opened specifically for our vacation fund (every little bit of interest helps even on a small savings account).
2. Take advantage of direct deposit – There is an advantage of direct deposit beyond not sitting in the line at the bank – – what you do not have in your hand you cannot spend. We added a direct deposit of $20 per week to our vacation savings account from my husband’s payroll. Because we do not have checks or a debit card to that savings account, we are not as tempted to spend the money and we do not miss what we do not have in our regular account each week.
3. Direct sales – When people need extra money, they will seek a part-time job. However, having a full-time job and a family makes getting a part-time job inconvenient and impractical. Direct sales (i.e. Avon, Tupperware, PartyLite, Pampered Chef, etc.) offer more flexibility and are a great way to generate extra income to pay for a vacation. The holidays are perfect for direct sales as people are spending more money and companies are offering specials on their products (make sure to ask around because some direct sales companies offer you a higher percentage of income during your first few months).
4. Clean house – Cleaning out your house of unwanted items is another way to save money for vacation. Sell items on Craigslist and eBay for a quick addition to your vacation savings account.
5. Give up some little luxuries – You may be surprised how much convenience costs you each week. No one in my home drinks coffee but me so I justified stopping each morning for my coffee rather than making it at home. My coffee costs me $12 per week not counting the occasionally morning that I grab a huge muffin as I am running through the coffee shop. Write every penny you spend in a journal for one week and then review it to see what you can live without for a few months. You may be surprised how much you can save for a vacation.
6. Cut your grocery bill – First things first, do not go to the store without a shopping list. Second, stop eating out and plan each meal at home. You can save money for vacation by eating at home; however, not if you chose to eat steak and shrimp each evening. Look for low-budget recipes online, clip coupons and eat what is on special to lower the grocery budget as much as possible to add more money to your vacation savings account.
7. Stop non-essential services – Do you have every cable channel they offer, have someone cut your grass, clean your home or wash your car each week. How about all of those shirts you take to the dry cleaners to be laundered and pressed that you could do at home if you only gave up watching Desperate Housewives. I will admit doing without some of these services for a few months was a little painful at times; however, we were able to save hundreds of dollars for our vacation.