Planning a vacation this summer?
Wondering how you will ever afford it?
Spending the summer wracked with anxiety about having the money you need for your upcoming trip is stressful, distracting and bad for your psyche.
To keep you confident, cool, calm and collected, we’ve put together some tips to help you put aside a little cash every week. While these ideas may not seem like much, they will add up to hundreds of dollars of savings or more over the course of the summer. And the great news? They’re easy!
1. Use Your Feet – If you live in a city and are in the habit of taking cabs, don’t! It’s summer. With no sub-zero temperatures to worry about, now is the time to walk everywhere (with the side benefit of getting some extra toning in to look great on the beach). Raining? If you haven’t before, now is the time to explore your city’s public transportation system! Those cabs? For now, they are on your almost never list.
2. Avoid the Pump – If you are a driver, keep those unnecessary miles to a minimum. If it’s practical to walk or take public transportation, do it. If you are going out or even commuting to work, see if you can carpool. Splitting commuting costs should result in a big savings.
3. Bring Your Lunch – We know, yuck! But honestly, think about how much you are spending at your local deli or in your company cafeteria. Of course if you’ve planned a special lunch with co-workers or friends, we aren’t suggesting you brown bag it! The side benefit of bringing your own lunch? It’s not only cheaper but also likely to be better for you and a great way to get in shape for your summer get away.
4. Take Out Is Not Your Friend – Take out is almost always more expensive than what you would make for yourself for dinner, and a lot of the time, it’s laden with unhealthy ingredients. Plan out your meals on Sunday (take a look at our Sunday food posts for great ideas), and you can probably get a lot of the preparation out of the way before the work week.
5. Dry Out – Take stock of your weekend bar bill at clubs or dinners. It’s likely to be one of your biggest going out expenses. See what you can do to dial it back. Once again, cheaper and healthier, leaving you looking and feeling good for your trip.
6. House Party – Summer is the perfect time for barbecues, nights in the backyard, or days at the beach. All of those alternatives are likely to be cheaper than going out to clubs or expensive dinners. Especially if the friends you usually hang with are the ones you are going away with, you won’t be the only one budgeting for the big vacation, so everyone should be agreeable.
7. Enjoy the Great Outdoors – As we’ve mentioned before, those workout classes can really add up. In some cities, we know some individual classes can be upwards of $30. Once again, it’s summer! Get out and enjoy it!! Like cycling? Try riding a real bike. Run outside. Do yoga by the beach. See if you can cut down on your studio expenses, or maybe even freeze your gym membership for the summer. Keep your fitness up but your expenses down!
So what to do with all your extra money? Put it aside so when it comes to vacation time, it’s actually there. Find a way to track it, and use your self control to keep yourself from spending it. Remember, the payoff is your fabulous summer get away! Enjoy!!