Before you get your getaway, you’ll have to save for a trip this summer with these simple tips.
Learning how to save for a trip this summer doesn’t come second nature. In fact, if you’ve been living paycheck-to-paycheck for quite some time, breaking the chains of those bad habits could be the hardest part of getting away on vacation. Train your brain to make it easier to give yourself the break you deserve.
Accepting the Cold Hard Truth
A few months back, a Washington Post columnist made major waves by saying people in debt don’t deserve to take a vacation. Oh, she wanted them to take full advantage of their days off, but she didn’t think they should go away and actually enjoy themselves. Her argument? They’d already (mis)spent their opportunities to have fun, which is nonsense! This writer had no idea why her readers might be in debt, so how was she one to say they’d already had their fun?
Critics said the writer’s take was a reflection of vacation shame. Most Americans do not take all the vacation allotted to them, according to a new survey by Alamo Rent a Car. When they finally do get away, 63 percent say they’re still connected to work. Over half feel responsible for working while they’re away — if only to avoid being buried in work once they get back. And, of course, plenty of working people say they simply can’t afford to go on a trip and pay their bills.
We are a vacation-starved nation, and it shouldn’t be that way. We all have the right to travel, explore and learn more about others and of ourselves regardless of whether we’re “well off.” Accept that and be determined to take your trip, or you’ll always find a reason to raid your savings.
Comparing Cost vs. Value
Setting a budget for a vacation is frustrating, but if you have a financial goal in mind, it makes it easier to save. Sit down and take a look at the numbers.
Financial experts suggest staying within 4 percent of your take-home pay. If you’re paid twice a month, that works out to basically one average check. If that doesn’t seem like enough to pay for a decent getaway, consider saving up to go on vacation every two or three years.
It’s just as important to resist going crunch crazy. Start pricing different parts of your trip. If $50 or $100 will mean the difference between a two-star hotel and a four-star resort, it’s worth spending the extra money to have a significantly better experience.
If you find a rock-bottom budget fare, be sure to check out the fine print. Cabo is cheaper than Cancun, on average, but why? A major reason is that you can’t swim at many beaches in Cabo. Will your trip be worth as much if you can’t take an ocean dip?
Most Reliable Ways to Put Money Away
Once you have a set financial goal, it’s time to start saving! The longer you give yourself to prepare, the less you need to sock away every month. Four percent of your check might be less than $50, but if you consistently put money away for your vacation, you’ll have more than enough to go away next year or in a few years’ time.
What if you want to go away this summer? Consider alternative ways to save beyond reserving money from your paycheck. What bills do you pay every month? Which expenses can you do without? Those little savings really add up.
- Cable $150
- Netflix $15
- Internet $120
- Cell phone $50
- Landline $30
You can tell right away that some of these services overlap. They also provide opportunities for savings. Your local phone company might be able to bundle phone, internet, and cable. Depending on how much you use the services and how you access them, it might be better to suspend cable and internet and use your cell phone for Netflix and browsing the internet.
What if you’re tied into a contract? Most providers will allow you to put your services on hold for a few months. They simply adjust the end date to reflect the months you took off.
Even if you’re working to save for a trip, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Come on into Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need.