Friends and family are taking vacations, and you’re not planning on missing out. But finding the money to go away for a week or even a weekend can be tough. With all the costs of your day-to-day routine, extra cash ends up going toward that unexpected car repair or replacing a broken window. Saved money quickly becomes spent money. Paying for that hard-earned vacation may seem nearly impossible!
Luckily, we’ve put together the ABC’s on how to save up your money to help get on the road and see new places (or at least the first 6 letters). Check out our list below!
Advance Prep – Planning ahead is a great goal, but it is difficult to do. Let travel agencies and tourism companies help you out by signing up for free email notifications and newsletters! Most of the time you can find great deals to fun locations as long as you plan ahead. Plus, many of these companies will have all-inclusive packages that will help you cut down on costs once you’re on vacation! Many travel companies even let you build your own vacation online! If you don’t want to go the traveling agent route, you can do some quick researching yourself through sites such as Trip Advisor or Kayak to help you along the way.
Bye-Bye, Barista! – That gourmet cup of coffee you pick up every morning can really put a hole in your pocket! Getting a cup of straight black costs you a little over $2 a day, or over $325 a year if you’re buying a cup 3 days a week! If you need that morning cup to get going, save yourself a bundle by brewing your own in-home. One pound of high-end coffee beans costs around $15 and will make anywhere from 30 to 60 cups of Joe depending on how strong you like it. That’s only 25-50 cents per cup!
Cable Check – How many of those TV channels do you really use? Many people don’t use most of the channels they’re paying for. Instead, check out online streaming and subscription options. You can see your favorite shows without paying the monstrous cable or satellite bill! Plus, you’ll have more control over when and where you watch your shows instead of building your evening around catching the latest episodes!
Direct Deposit – Choose where you’re going well ahead of time and build it into your budget. Begin saving months in advance by setting aside money each budget period for your vacation fund. Set up a separate savings account with your bank that’s wholly dedicated to vacationing, and schedule automatic transfers to keep it growing! Don’t touch this fund until it’s time to pack up the car or buy those plane tickets!
Eating Out – A family with kids under the age of 6 spends around $240 a month on restaurant food alone! No matter your situation, eating out, even if it’s not all the time, can really cost you. Look for restaurants with “Kids Eat Free” deals and daily specials, or cook some simple meals for yourself and your loved ones at home.
Free Fun— Most cities and vacation spots offer free attractions and events. Begin looking in advance at events that offer little to no cost to participate! If you’re the outdoorsy type, most state and national parks have relatively low parking fees and admission is free. Plus, local communities often offer free concerts, fairs, and shows that you can attend with your family! Oftentimes, these free events and locations shape the fondest vacation memories.
Wherever the road takes you, we hope these tips can help you get there! By saving up beforehand, you won’t have to be worried about money when you get there, making it more enjoyable for you and your travel companions. While you’re away, know that Madison Mutual is watching over the things you can’t live without. Call 1-800-766-MMIC or see your local agent to make sure you’re ready to go!