Simple Ways to Start Saving for Spring Break Today
Spring break will be here before we know it. If a vacation is on the horizon, you may be starting to worry about how you’ll pay for everything. Instead of resorting to a credit card, consider taking some of these steps to alleviate vacation debt and have your best spring break yet!
Sell Clothing/Toys/Household Items Taking up Space
Most of the country is gripped by one of the coldest winters on weather. Since you’re stuck inside anyway, why not sift through some of your belongings and start getting rid of them. Find groups on Facebook for your local community by searching “CITY NAME Buy, Sell and Trade” or some variation of this. Snap some pictures and price your items. It’s a virtual online thrift sale! For bigger ticket items or collectibles you can try selling on eBay. Furniture? Craigslist might be a good place to start.
Sell Your Skills
Are you an amazing baker? Do you have a knack for writing? Can you babysit a few hours a week? Take an inventory of all the skills you have and could possibly sell. It doesn’t need to be a long term plan, just something to make a little extra cash to have in your pocket for vacation.
Go through your budget and determine what amount you can remove weekly or bi-weekly to move automatically to the vacation fund. It might not be a lot, but every little bit helps. Even $100 extra can mean an extra nights accommodations or a meal or two.
Cut Back Your Meal Plan
Challenge your family to a bare bones meal plan until your vacation. See how many ways you can reduce your food budget. One of the best ways is to completely stop eating meals out of the house. Home cooked meals will save money. Instead of buying pre-packaged snacks, make some home baked goodies on the weekends or rely on fruits and vegetable snacks. Remember, this doesn’t need to be long term!
Don’t forget the savings goes into the vacation fund!
Pay as You Go
This suggestion may not seem like it will save money but in the long run it will. Instead of waiting until you reach your destination to pay for everything (and thus needing to have a large chunk of cash set aside) pay for things as you go. As soon as you have the money to pay for your hotel, pay it up front.
Attraction tickets? Buy them too. You can even pre-purchase gift cards for food and restaurants. This helps you save money in two ways. First, often times if you pay up front and/or with a debit card you can get a discount – so be sure to ask! Second, because you have already paid for it, you’re less likely to pay more. Wouldn’t it be nice to just go on vacation knowing that the only cash out of your pocket will be incidentals?
The key to making these strategies work is to really put the money into your vacation fund or funnel it directly into pre-paying vacation expenses. If you keep the money in your general spending account, chances are good you’ll spend it before vacation.
Have other ideas? Please share them below!