Saving for the family vacation can seem daunting if you’re trying to do it in just a few weeks or months. Instead, think of how you save for family vacations more as a long-term investment and save throughout the year. Not only will it not put as big of a dent in your wallet in a short period of time, but it may actually help you save more than you originally planned.
Set Yourself Up with Auto-Savings
If you have a savings account, good for you. About 21% of people don’t own a savings account, giving them zero cushion if something were to go wrong. Aside for emergencies, a savings account can also help you stock money away for things you really want, like that relaxing beach vacation with the family.
Some savings accounts give you the option to automatically transfer money on a schedule you choose, which is a super helpful way to save for family vacations. Capital One 360, for example, lets savers create an Automatic Savings Plan to save a specific amount each week, month, or period you choose. You can have the money automatically transfer from your checking account so you never have to worry about it. Hands-off savings is the best way to go; the less you have to think about it, the more accustomed you’ll get to doing without that cash.
Try to save $50 a week, if possible (the more the better). That translates to $2,600 per year, which can buy you a full vacation, or at least a good chunk of it.
Save for Family Vacations with a Savings App
There’s an app for everything nowadays, including saving, and you’d be silly not to utilize them to save for family vacations. One that’s gaining major popularity is Acorns, and its idea is brilliant. You can sign up for free and hook up the app securely to any of your credit cards, debit cards, or bank accounts.
Each time you make a purchase, Acorns will round it up to the nearest whole dollar and put that extra change into your Acorns account. It adds up quickly, yet it’s such non-bothersome cost as it happens because it’s such a small amount. It’s the true definition of Don’t-Think-About-It savings. You can also set up automatic savings with a schedule that works for you. Plus, Acorn allows you to invest your money in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for a chance to earn even more money all year.
Use the cash you earn from Acorns to help with affording your vacation or keep it as spending money during your trip.
Get the Kids Involved
It’s important to teach your kids the basics of money. Planning and saving for family vacations is the perfect way to do it since kids often don’t realize the huge expenses involved for a few days of fun.
Through the year, let your children help out with ‘special’ chores or activities around the house that can earn them some money for their own vacation fund. Whatever they earn through the year is theirs to keep as spending money on the trip. Reiterate that their earnings are their only cash to spend, so if they want a good chunk of change, they need to help out and earn it. Make it fun by giving each child his own activity chart and track his or her earnings with stickers.
Make Use of What You Have
Do you have a car that barely gets used? How about space in your home – like a garage or shed – that stays vacant most of the time?
Start thinking outside the box about saving and you may wind up with more than you even planned for. Renting a car is one of the newest, and most lucrative, ways people are earning extra cash for things they already have but don’t use often. HyreCar lets you rent your car to people who drive for Lyft or Uber. If you can make do with one vehicle for even a few months, you can rent your other one for that time and make a few hundred dollars each month. Immediately put that money into savings.
If you want to rent out some space in your home for storage, try StoreWithMe. The service helps you list your space for rent online so other people in your area can find it and contact you. You set your own prices and can rent your space for the time you choose.
Saving for family vacations doesn’t have to be a huge cost at one time. When you spread it out through the year, the cost to you is less noticeable. And, when you get into the habit of using different avenues that help you save, you forget you’re even doing it. It’s time to make that dream vacation come true.