Saving for a vacation can be a challenge at times. There are so many factors that can go into financially preparing for a vacation, which can make it difficult to get started.
But to keep your financial goals on track, you do need to get started.
Planning your summer trip (or any other, for that matter) should be an exciting experience, and knowing that you’re covering yourself financially will make the reward even greater.
Here are our best tips to guide you through saving for vacation this summer.
1. Create a Budget for Your Vacation (and Stick to It)
Before you determine where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and where you’ll stay, you need to decide how much money you can spend on this vacation. If you have a pint-sized budget, you shouldn't be looking at destinations designed for gallon-sized budgets, so it can help save you time and frustration later on.
Make sure your budget is something you can realistically stick to while keeping within the guidelines of your short-, medium-, and long-term financial goals.
That being said, you may realize that you underestimated how much a trip to a specific destination will cost when you start researching. If that’s the case, you can adjust your budget—but remember that this adjustment might also mean changing your timeline. Perhaps you’ll need more time to save for that vacation, and that’s okay.
2. Set up Auto-Transfers into Your Savings Account
One of the biggest challenges with saving for vacations (or anything else, really) is that it falls down the priority list in favor of more pressing matters. It’s easy to choose expenses for the home or children should take priority over saving for vacation—and there are certainly times when that’s true—but when you’re trying to save money for your trip, you’ll have to be picky about what classifies as worth that sacrifice.
By setting up auto-transfers from checking to savings accounts, you can ensure that money is protected in advance. The money you have leftover is truly available to you for whatever expenses pop up. You’re essentially taking the possibility of “accidentally” spending it out of the equation.
You can start auto-transfers at your base (the minimum amount you want to save for the vacation) and then add any extra cash you have at the end of the month.
3. Find Areas You Can Trim in Your Budget
Finding areas to trim your budget ahead of a vacation can be challenging, but here are a few things that can make the process easier.
Look for Free Activities in Your Area
You certainly don’t want to become reclusive just because you’re saving for a vacation. You’ll still want to get out of the house and do fun things with friends and family. There are plenty of ways to remain social while saving money, and they often start with the free activities offered in your area.
Places like museums, parks, public beaches, and libraries can provide significant entertainment for an entire family. There are plenty of free or affordable activities along the Seacoast—you just have to look for them.
Cook at Home
Going out to dinner gets expensive quickly—especially with the cost of food as high as it is these days. You can save quite a bit by cutting back on the number of times you go out to eat.
You can make it fun with the kids as well, letting them pick out what you’ll plan to eat and getting ingredients together. Kids can learn practical skills, and you don’t have to worry about how they’re behaving in a restaurant.
Pack Your Lunch
Along the same lines, packing your lunch instead of buying it can save you a ton. When you’re making dinner, make extra so you can just package it up and bring it to work the next day.
Consider that maybe more than one person in your family has been purchasing their lunch on a semi-daily basis, and the amount you’re saving for vacation has at least doubled.
Grow Your Own Food
If you have the space to spare, you can save a lot of money by growing your own produce. Even starting with an herb garden in your kitchen or on a small patio can save you a lot of cooking costs throughout the summer.
Then, at the end of the summer, you can harvest what you have left and use it in the winter months.
4. Check in Regularly
Be sure to check back in with your family and your budget on a regular basis. You’ll never know if you don’t check. If you’re on track, you’re doing great! You can make adjustments as necessary, but otherwise, just keep doing what you’re doing.
If you’re falling behind, you may need to reprioritize or change your timeline. But if you’re not checking in, you may not know until it’s too late to make up the difference.
5. Take Advantage of Your Bank’s Resources
Your local financial institutions—like First Seacoast Bank—have plenty of resources available to help you save for a vacation. For example, a Kasasa Cash Back Rewards account allows you to earn 3.00% cash back on purchases up to $300.00 monthly. You can use this cash to pay for a portion of your vacation expenses.
You could also utilize points accumulated on your Preferred Points credit card. Once you’ve earned enough points to redeem rewards, you can use them to get gift cards for restaurants, entertainment, or shopping, in addition to travel, theme parks, and cash.
Kick Start Your Vacation Savings
If you’re interested in First Seacoast Bank products and services that can help you save money for your vacation, we’re happy to help. You can stop by your nearest branch location or contact us via phone or email at any time. Let us know what we can do to help you reach your goals!