YES, you can afford a vacation. I strongly believe that even if you aren’t blessed with a paycheck that has several zeros at the end of it, you can afford it! How do I know? Because I’m living proof. I used to think I could never afford a vacation and didn’t learn how to save until I booked my first trip abroad…. with borrow money. (Read my About Me page for a better explanation.)
It might be a long process but it is possible. You just have to practice vigilance and S A V E those D O L L A R bills!
Follow these “simple” hacks…
Piggy Bank It
Literally move it out of your bank account into a separate location. Whether it be an actual piggy bank, a savings account or giving it to a trusted friend or family member. Those precious dollars need to be out of sight and out of mind. I remove an amount that I’ve budgeted to be financially okay without and force myself not to touch it.
Sacrifice Now and Relish Later
If this is a tough one for you like it is for me, just remember the sacrifice is only for a short amount of time.
Make small sacrifices. For instance, if you like to eat out every weekend with friends, cut it down to every other weekend. Or pick one entire month that you will only grocery shop and eat in.
Things you CAN sacrifice:
Coffee- Make your own! It’s way cheaper.
New clothes- You don’t need them!
Going out at night- “Sorry I’m busy” – I tell my friends when I’m really at home watching Netflix. I chose to cut back on this because Uber rides and alcohol add up quickly. I make exceptions for birthdays but I avoid going out “just because”.
Every one is different but those are things I’ve learned I can go without and have made a huge impact on my saving ability.
Being held accountable
Choose someone that you can openly share your financial goals with and will kick your butt if you aren’t sticking to it. Fortunately for me, I have a travel buddy who is simultaneously saving money and we hold each other accountable. We discuss how much money we want to save and when we move our travel money to our “piggy bank”. It helps me save knowing that she is going to ask about my progress and hold me accountable to sticking to my plan. And vice versa.
Write it down
◊ All the little things add up but it isn’t always obvious. Write down every indulgent purchase that you make and add it up at the end of each week. If you cringe at the amount, send some of those indulgences to the chopping block.
◊ Your Budget- This involves some basic math. When you decide the monetary goal, calculate what you will need to put aside weekly. Create a spreadsheet of the “WEEKLY GOAL” and “ACTUAL SAVINGS”. It’s a good motivating trick when you start to see those numbers add up.
and in addition to saving. Have a…
Back up Plan
I was a teenage victim of massive credit card debt. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and never recommend credit cards because of it. But I make an exception when it comes to traveling abroad. Things happen. Missed flights, stolen wallets, overspending, etc… If you have a strict budget, those unexpected expenses really hurt. In this case, a credit card as a back up for emergencies is a smart idea.