6 Ways to Save for Your Vacation

3/21/2018 9:00:00 AM

Spring and summer are popular vacation times, saving for a trip takes time and discipline. Whether you drive or fly to your vacation destination, find out how you can set money aside for your next getaway.

1. Open a Dedicated Checking or Savings Account

If you are serious about setting aside money for travel, this is a critical step. In most cases there is no cost to opening a new account. It will just take a little bit of your time.

When you open your account, be sure to ask questions to clarify the account requirements to avoid fees. Ask about convenient account features like a debit card and online banking so you can pay directly from the account when you book your plans or to cover expenses while on your trip. With a dedicated account, you can manage your travel budget and easily track the true cost of your vacation.

2. Make It Automatic

Once you have a dedicated account, you need to start saving. By setting up an automatic transfer, you can easily save money without taking a trip to the bank. Your automatic transfer can be at regular intervals that work for your budget. The savings can really add up over time. For example, a transfer of $20/week adds up to over $1,000 by the end of the year.

If your employer offers direct deposit, you may be able to have your deposits split among multiple accounts. So you could designate a percentage of your paycheck to go into your vacation account. The savings will add up and you don’t have to transfer the funds yourself. You will likely be less tempted to spend it, too.

3. Set an Honest Budget

Sit down and list the true cost of your vacation including lodging, flights or fuel, rentals, and excursions. Remember to account for money you don’t spend while on your trip, including food, lower energy bills, weeknight entertainment, suspended newspaper delivery, etc. This will give you a much more honest cash-flow analysis of how much your trip is going to cost you. Don’t forget to factor in non-travel costs like boarding for pets and hiring the neighbor kid to mow the lawn. In the end, for plus and minus, you will have a better sense of what the trip actually costs.

4. Liquidate Directly into a Travel Fund

De-clutter and add up the savings. Many people have a plan to get rid of unneeded items on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook, but few follow through on it. Use your vacation as the motivation you need to purge the closet, basement, and garage and watch the balance in your vacation account increase. Don’t overlook the possibility of a yard sale to boost your savings.

5. Get the Family Involved

If the whole family is taking the trip, get the whole family involved. The more people tagging along, the higher the cost of the vacation. If you’re bringing the kids, you will need more of everything, more plane tickets, bigger rental car, more beds, more attraction tickets, and more food.

If your kids get allowances, or if you give them a spending budget, they should help save for the trip. Have them contribute cash from their allowance or reduce their spending limits. Help them understand that vacations cost extra and that everyone is pitching in for the family getaway. Let them know that you are still paying the bills at home during the trip and will cover most of the travel expenses. However, they will need to save up for any extras they want to buy.

6. Your Change Adds Up

So how much can you save in a change jar or piggy bank? It’s more than you might think. As an example, a large snack jar of spare change could total more than $500. While that seems like a lot, it only takes $1.37/day to get to $500 in a year. With a family unit contributing to the bucket, the loose coins add up fast. Give the kids a change jar, too! Then, stop in to your local North Shore Bank office where we offer free coin-counting service for our customers.

If you’re taking a trip, North Shore Bank also offers Travel Cards so you can worry less and have more fun. The cards can be used at ATMs and merchants worldwide and come with online access and text alerts. Ask about our reloadable Travel Card at any North Shore Bank office

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