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5 ways to save for a vacation

Saving for a vacation this summer will probably require some cutbacks, but it isn’t impossible to do. In fact, by making these simple changes in your life, you probably won’t have to make major sacrifices.

  1. Consolidate your credit card debt. An average American family has about six different active credit cards. Odds are, at least one of them has a lower interest rate than the other ones. By transferring your balances to this card, it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars a month in interest charges.

  2. Review your utility bills. After your rent or mortgage and car bills, your third largest expense is probably electricity and water. Walk around your home and look for ways to save energy. Turn off lights, raise the temperature on your air conditioner, and check the insulation around doors and windows. Even after saving money for a vacation, you’ll continue to enjoy lower electric bills.

  3. Make some cuts to your “optional” utilities. Cell phones, cable subscriptions, and even internet plans typically offer cheaper options than the ones many people are encouraged to sign up for. Switching to a pre-paid phone, eliminating movie channels, or agreeing to a slower internet speed can all help you to save over a hundred dollars a month. After a few months, you’ll have enough to go on a vacation.

  4. Force yourself to save first. Figure out how much you need for your trip, then divide that number by the number of paychecks you’ll get until then. The result is the amount you should transfer directly into a savings account on each payday. You’ll have the money you need for your trip, but you will have to rework your budget to get your spending in line with your reduced income. Keep in mind this plan usually only works if you have a lot of money that is being spent each month on wants instead of needs. Otherwise, you might just end up running up your credit card balances.

  5. Consider some less expensive vacation options. If you just can’t save the money for your dream trip, look at ways to reduce the cost. Delaying the trip a few months can give you more time to save and it might let you go during a cheaper time of the year. Picking cheaper hotel or looking for ways to avoid eating out can save hundreds of dollars. Also look for last minute deals to the places you want to go.

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