Have you got that dream holiday floating through your head? Struggling to save the money required to get there? Let us assist you with saving for your holiday with our budgeting and planning tips!
Step 1: Planning
The first step to having a successful holiday is the planning stage. An accurate dollar figure is essential to saving for your holiday. Utilising Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets (which is free) is a great way to track all costs associated with your holiday.
Using travel search websites such as Expedia, Booking.com and Skyscanner are great for putting together the costs associated with saving for your holiday. Search rough dates you intend to travel, keeping in mind peak and off peak seasons. Don’t forget to jot down all costs including flights, hotels, cars, fuel, food, tours, transport and spending money.
Once you are satisfied you have a rough estimate you have a target to aim for saving for your holiday. Don’t be too concerned about plans changing the main goal here is getting an estimate on what the holiday is going to cost.
Step 2: Monthly Expenses
Time for another spreadsheet! This time you need to put your monthly income after taxes and all your expenses in. The goal of this step is by laying all your costs out, you are able to see how much is left over each month and then cut down on unnecessary costs. It is very important to accurately log all costs to be able to effectively budget. Don’t forget things such as subscriptions, eating and drinking out, insurances and phone plans.
Step 3: Budgeting
After you have laid out all your costs it is time to scrutinise and make some cuts if needed. You need to be ruthless in reducing costs and sticking to your budget. Do you need that take out or alcohol? Do you need that Netflix or Spotify premium subscription or can they be downgraded to the cheaper options?
Some easy ways to reduce your expenses each month and help saving for your holiday:
- Reduce your phones plan to a lower cost each month. Utilise smaller carriers that offer better deals.
- Meal plan once a week. This involves cooking big batches of meals and freezing them. A slow cooker or crock pot is great for this.
- Lower your subscription services plans or share with a family member or friend to spread the cost.
- Lower your electricity bill by being more energy conscious, using less lights, turning off equipment when not in use.
- Shop around for better deals on mortgages and insurances. Companies make it difficult to switch for a reason, if you can get through these painful changes you will reap the benefits.
After adjusting your budget to where you need it to be, work out how much you are going to be putting aside for your holiday each month. Remember the more you can save, the quicker you can build your holiday fund to where it needs to be!
Step 4: Holiday Fund
Setting up a holiday fund is a great way to keep your travel money aside and reach your goal of saving for your holiday quicker!
Open a new account with your bank, and name it Holiday Fund. After working out how much you are going to be putting into your holiday fund each month, set up automatic transactions to move the money. This is a great way to remain true to your budget and not have to worry about moving the money yourself.
Now that is all automatic, it is up to you to not touch the money for anything other than your holiday!
Step 5: Save, save save!
You have your budget, you have made adjustments to your expenses, now it is time to save! This is honestly the most difficult part, as it can be easy to fall into the trap of buying something that isn’t in your budget, or going and getting take out. It takes dedication, resilience and drive. Trust me I know this well!
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is that you will eventually forget about that take away meal or that piece of clothing you purchased. You won’t forget those memories of that dream holiday! Achieving something you have worked so hard for makes the experience so much better!
Got some other tips that can help saving for holidays? Let us know in the comments below!