Check out this video from Dave Ramsey about why you can’t take a vacation. I’ll add my own comments below.
Act Like Grownups and Pay Cash
So what are some ways you can fund your upcoming summer vacation without using credit cards? It’s not too late to set aside a good chunk of cash. Here are a few ideas to get you going.
- Make significant temporary cuts to your budget. Find $10 here and $50 there that you can cut from your spending in the weeks to come. Each cut may not seem like much, but added altogether you might be able to come up with a few hundred dollars.
- Use your food budget while you’re gone. Let’s say you’ve budgeted $800 per month for food, but you’re going to be gone on vacation for 2 weeks. That’s about $400 you can shift from your food budget directly over to your vacation stash.
- Have a garage sale. You’re probably already planning to do some sort of garage sale this spring anyway, so get one together soon and use it to add money to your vacation budget.
TIP: If you’ve got young children, buy some bottled water and keep it on ice during your garage sale. Have your kids sell the water for $1 a bottle to customers so they can earn more spending money for the vacation. You’ll be surprised how many people will buy water from a cute kid on a hot day.
- Save money from non-essential budget categories. Save up all your restaurant, entertainment, and blow money budget categories from now through your vacation and apply it to your trip budget.
- Find a temporary additional job. This may sound tough, but you’ve probably got more opportunities available to you than you think. Are you any good at home maintenance and repair? Could you spend your weekends cutting lawns and trimming bushes? Are there people in need of having junk hauled away? Look for opportunities to generate a little extra income over the next few weeks.
- Plan your vacation around the cash available. Maybe you can’t take the family to Disney for two weeks with the cash you’ve saved up, but you can still do something fun and special. Remember, the real purpose of vacation is to get away, rest, have fun, and spend time together as a family.
- Look for ways to save money on your vacation. There are tons of ways to save, from finding coupons or discounts for restaurants, buying hotel and entertainment deals from Groupon or Amazon Local, or even getting a hotel room that has a kitchenette so you can buy groceries and eat fewer meals out at expensive restaurants.
- Set specific spending limits. When you do go out to eat, set limits on how much each person at the table is allowed to spend. (Take leaving a good tip behind for your server into account.) If you’re going to give family members spending money, set a limit and stick to it. Don’t let emotions get the best of you and blow your budget by buying too much touristy stuff.
What are some ways you save money for and during your vacations? Please share in the comments.
Also published on Medium.
I’m Jeff M. Miller, and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary. I’m an entrepreneur who retired from my full-time job in my early 40s to work from home. I’m a financial counselor, life coach, graphic designer, and passionate believer in helping others improve their lives a little more each day.
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