Saving for a holiday needn’t be a drag. Quite the contrary, it can be a challenge which creates energy, a sense of achievement, and an opportunity to get the whole family behind a common aim.
There are two strategies involved in a successful approach to saving, namely offensive and defensive strategy. Offensive strategy is about growing income. Defensive strategy is about managing expenditure. To win the money game and in this case, take a holiday without needing to get into debt, you need to play both strategies well.
Below we set out seven easy steps to saving for a holiday, from working out the costs involved, taking a hard look at spending, finding ways to grow income and hold onto it, the mechanics of saving, and finally ideas for staying motivated and inspired while you save for your next great getaway.
Got a tip that really helped you save for a holiday? Please add your comment at the end and share it with other readers.
Brainstorm holiday destinations and travel dates, then sort by preference
If you're travelling in a group, it may be useful to create a pinterest board and invite your travel companions to pin their ideas to it. For more on this see our post on 7 Steps To A Perfect Vacation.Creating a list of holiday ideas will build excitement. Aim to get a list together with holidays that have varied costs. Think creatively. This way you have a choice when it comes to budgeting and saving.
Once you have your list together, you will need to work out how much each holiday is likely to cost
Create a quick rough budget for first, second and third preference holidays
To work out if your shortlisted holidays are affordable in the time you have to save for them, you will need to add up the costs:
Travel (e.g. Flights / Trains / Cabs / Transfers / Car Hire)
Accommodation (Apartment / Villa / Hotel / Hostel / Airbnb / Camping)
Travel Insurance (if travelling intra-EU also take your EHIC card, which is free)
Food and Drink
Clothing, Accessories and Basics (Beachwear, Sunscreen, Toiletries)
Entertainment (Water parks, Entrance Fees to Attractions, Tours, Activities, Ski hire, Lift Pass)
Shopping (Treats, Gifts, Souvenirs)
List regular household income and expenses
It is important to know how much money you are earning and spending each month.
The bank statement doesn’t lie. Look through a recent month and categorise your expenses.
List your regular income and expenses as they stand.
Task yourself with saving first then spending, not the other way around, this way you don’t miss what you don’t have in the first place.
Consider increasing your income with some side-hustling
Consider getting the kids involved. It is good for kids to get used to the real world where money and treats are earned. They say the people who turn out to be have the most success in life are not the smartest but the ones who have the greatest capacity to delay gratification. And what better way to build this muscle than working to save for a holiday. Perhaps you can get on Taskrabbit and do some freelance work in your area, or Upwork and do some distance freelancing. Another option is creating a gig on Fiverr which plays to your skills, or clearing out things you haven’t used in an age and selling them on eBay.
Got a spare room? Consider taking a language student or Airbnb it a few nights per month.
Work out possible cost savings and create a new budget
Once you have taken an honest look at your regular money demands and spending, decide by how much you can reduce your current spending and create a new monthly budget.
Go too extreme with cost savings and you may give up too quickly. Better to start small, get some small wins, and build on it little by little each month.
Begin depositing a regular amount in a savings account and start a holiday jar
Take an empty jar and label it the same as your savings account. Deposit some change into it each day. The amount doesn’t matter, it is the action that matters. Remember what you focus on expands. This will help increase focus, and get the unconscious mind to work at finding creative solutions to achieving your holiday.If you are paid regularly by an employer, it will be most convenient to set up a standing order on / the day after payday to a specific holiday account. Name the account something positive like ‘Our Amazing 2016 Holiday’. Avoid naming your accounts anything negative like Rainy Day account, because what we focus on expands. If what you plan for is rainy days, chances are you’re going to get a lot of rainy days!
Pin a picture where you will see it daily
Pin a picture of the sea, hotel, or something else which will remind you what you’re working towards. Motivation, like bathing, wears off, hence it is best done daily.
Got a great tip? Please share it below in the comments section.