If you are planning a trip this year, and are still trying to figure out how to put a few Euros aside, then this post may just be for you. We take a look at a few ways you can focus better on putting a few Euros to the side. We don’t mean how to cut back on bills, but how you can actively remind yourself to save for your next trip. So here we go, a few things you can do to save some money for your next holiday.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to really focus on your savings for your upcoming vacation. Today a majority of banks offer free accounts including setup costs, etc. Why not split your accounts and literally put the money for your travels into a separate fund. This way, rather than taking money out of your personal account and hoping its enough, you literally set money aside into the separate vacation fund and always have an immediate view of what you have saved and how much more you need.
Should you open an account make sure you ask the bank if there are any monthly minimums that the account needs to hold. Some banks may offer free accounts, however, you need to have a minimum transfer each month. Also inquire about ATM accesses, cards, etc so that when you are abroad you don’t pay any hefty fees. This way you have a full account with your travel money, bank cards, perhaps even credit card all at your fingertips without touching your day to day personal account.
Another benefit of a separate account is that you have a perfect view of your actual budget that you create for your trip. This way you know the money on the account is for your trip, you can budget accordingly and not worry about overspending. Keep an eye on your overall balance as you travel. It makes keeping a view of things a whole lot easier.
After having set up your bank account, the next thing to do is to automatically set up transfers between your checking account and your travel account. Rather than manually logging in or going to the bank and saying you want to transfer X amount, set up automatic transfers. Set a fixed budget that will automatically be pulled out of your checking account and transferred. This way you have no excuse to fill up your holiday account and gives you a better budgeting opportunity with your personal checking account as well.
Sit down and calculate what a reasonable amount is. Don’t overdo it to the point that you then go back and pull out money out of your vacation account to pay for a bill. Set a realistic budget and work out what that means every day. If you put aside 2 Euros every day, that adds up to 730 Euros for the year. That is more than enough for many destinations including flight and hotel or a variety of packages.
Hence, work out a good percentage that makes sense for the number of people you’re calculating in (depending if it’s only you or your whole family you need to budget for). That way you know that you’ll have money on your vacation account regardless of what may come.
Ask for help
If you don’t trust yourself in keeping your goals, then there is nothing wrong with asking someone to support you. It may be your significant other, a parent or even a friend. If you feel that you’re overwhelmed with the above two points, then simply ask someone to help and guide you along the way. Perhaps someone who you know is good with money. This doesn’t mean you should give them yours. The point here is to have them support you, and perhaps you learn something along the way, to make sure you transfer funds into your vacation account. Ask this person to remind you each month or bi-weekly, however you set your budgeting, to remind you to do so in order for you to reach your vacation goals (and not book last minute either).
Now we did say that we would not get into the methods of saving, this post is more so for how to go about setting aside for your trip, however one thing that crosses the line on both sides is the classical piggy bank. Take a jar or anything you can throw loose change in and put it aside. Whenever you have loose change in your wallet or pockets, throw that into the jar and label it vacation only money. It really adds up. Over time you could collect lots of Euros if not hundreds over the period of months by just throwing loose change into a jar. Now, you not only have the actual money you set aside but an additional “transfer” of money that could perhaps be utilized as spending money, depending on how much you collect.
If the above points seem a bit bogus, then sit down and do a real budget. Actually look at everything you own, your income, your expenses, and plan accordingly based on what you would like to do for vacation. If you want to reach several hundred dollars and go on a fantastic trip this year, then you may want to cancel Netflix for the next couple of months. Doing a budget today is fairly easy, from excel to apps, everything is available. Again, if you feel uncomfortable doing so then simply ask someone to help you. Then you have an overview of your actual costs, your earnings and how much you are able to spend for an upcoming trip. Often it may even be an eye-opener and/or motivation for saving for your vacation.
Extra point: Families
This additional point is for families. It’s not just up to you alone to carry the budget or you together with your spouse. Bring your kids into the game as well. Traveling with kids can be expensive and in order for everyone to enjoy the vacation, bring the kids on in decisions as well, should they be old enough. With younger kids, it may just make sense to teach them about saving. If your kids receive an allowance, discuss it out altogether that from period X to period Y they need to also set aside a certain reasonable amount for the upcoming family vacation. Children will definitely appreciate the openness. Let them know what the financial situation is and how you plane to do what and where the money will go. In their cases, it may be solely spending money they can use while on holidays for gifts or souvenirs or things they would like to personally do.
Saving in and of itself in regards to how is not difficult. The real question is can you pull through and actually plan out your budget and the amount of money you need and will you achieve it.
So you have any other pointers or methods you use, and again it’s not about selling furniture or clothes or taking on a second job. This post is purely about “how”. Let us know your thoughts below and any other tips you may have. Feel free to share.