Saving Money to Take Your Family on a Holiday Trip
With all the normal bills and expenses, it can be difficult for the average person to save up enough to take their family on a much-needed holiday. If you’re planning on using your credit card to pay for it, here’s what you can do differently, so you can save up some money and pass on the plastic.
Step One: Decide How You Want to Pay
Most people should pay with cash. So, unless you have a good reason for going into debt, other than you don’t have the budget, then you should hold off until you have money. Of course, saving money is not as hard as you might think. If you can save up the full amount, paying for your holiday with a credit card might be a good idea since it’s protected under the Consumer Credit Act.
Basically, if your holiday costs $3,000, and you save up that amount, you can safely charge it to a credit card, go on your vacation, and not worry about your cash being stolen. Then, when you get home, pay off the card with the cash you saved up.
This is only a good idea if you have the mental discipline to pay off your card right when you get home. Otherwise, you’ll get into serious financial trouble.
Step Two: Setting A Budget
Set up a simple budget for yourself and your family. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, some of the best budgets are simple. Cut out one or two extra expenses, such as the following:
* Snacks and Meals: Pack your snacks and lunch for work, instead of buying them.
* Reading Materials: Access newspapers and magazines online, rather than paying for subscriptions. Borrow books from the library. Some libraries even offer books online.
* Coffee and Beverages: Make your coffee at home, instead of buying it from a vendor. Bring water, milk or juice in a container, rather than purchasing it each day.
Cutting out some of the small things will add up fast. Ask your family what they are willing to cut out, and put out a jar or piggy bank for them to add their savings to the vacation fund.
Make sure you save up enough to pay for the trip before you actually go on it. If you set a spending budget for the holiday, it will help keep your spending from spiraling out of control. You’ll avoid “extras” you haven’t planned for, too.
Step Three: Make a List of Things to Take with You
Make a list of things you need for your trip, like money, clothes and toiletries. If you need travel insurance, write that down, too. You’ll likely want transportation when you arrive. So, you’ll need a car hire. Don’t forget your sun cream, as well as food and drink money. Budget out how much you should spend on entertainment activities while you’re there, and treats and souvenirs.
Not sure you can afford to save? If that’s true, then you shouldn’t go on holiday. Now, it might sound harsh, but most people do have money to save. Start by putting a small amount of money aside in your jar each week, and then try to set aside more on a regular basis. Be consistent and keep going, but don’t give up there.
A little spare change in a jar is fine, but it is not going to get you a fancy trip to some faraway place where waiters bring you tropical drinks on a beach any time soon.
You have to commit to saving some serious coin.
Step Four: Name Your Goal
You can save more by naming your goal and going from there. Do you want to go on a family trip to Tenerife or a romantic break in Rome? Name it. Then, you have something to work towards.
Step Five: Compare Prices
If you’re flying, compare prices for cheap flights, and learn more about what to do if your flight is delayed – intentionally or not. In most cases, if the delay is the airlines fault, you may be due financial compensation.
Step Six: Let Your Savings Grow
It may take a while before you have enough for a holiday, but that’s okay. Just keep saving and watch your vacation fund grow. Put it in a liquid savings account — something you can get at easily enough. A savings account is good, but a bank certificate of deposit is a bit better. You could also consider high-yield saving or checking or a cash ISA.
Planning a family trip can be stressful, but if you are knowledgeable and plan ahead, it can turn out trouble-free. If, however, you have a problem with a cancelled or delayed flight, be sure to use a flight compensation calculator to let you know quick and easily if you can receive reimbursement or some other type of assistance.
Kim Jarrett is a frugal Mother of two pre-teen boys who is doing this parenting job on her own. She has learnt where to save and when to splurge and shares her tips on scrimping and saving in her articles.