Going Somewhere? How to Save for that trip to Fiji. Or Rome.
When working on our family budgets and financial plans, we often focus on the most important items: paying the mortgage, saving for retirement etc. These are critical items, but you don’t want to forget about fun or expenses that only come up once a year.
If you want to take a nice vacation or buy lots of Christmas presents without going into debt, what can you do?
It’s All in the Planning
Your best bet is to plan ahead. If you know you want to go to France or Italy in a year’s time, start saving now. The earlier you start socking money away, the less you need to save from each pay cheque. Make a plan and figure out how much the trip should cost, then divide that by the number of times you’ll get paid before you go. Voila, you now know how much you should be saving.
You might want to keep the money for your trip or other fun expenses in its own bank account, so you aren’t tempted to “borrow” from the account for other things. Just make sure you choose an account that doesn’t charge much, or any, fees. No need to give part of your trip money to the bank.
It’s the same idea for Christmas or other holiday presents. Instead of having to lay out hundreds of dollars over a few weeks in November and December, put money away starting early in the year, so you aren’t stuck putting all of your purchases on your credit card. It may seem like a drag, but you will thank yourself come January.
And you can always put money away into a general slush fund, even if you don’t have particular plans for it. That way, if something comes up last minute, you aren’t scrambling to find the money to pay for it.
Can You Sell Something?
Another way to get your hands on some cash is to sell something. Have you got a bunch of stuff you don’t use? Have a garage sale. Do you have a bike that you never ride? Try Kijiji. (This is also a nice way to de-clutter your home and life.) Are you crafty? Try selling stuff on Etsy.
Sometimes, people pick up short-term side jobs to help fund big expenses. You don’t want to burn yourself out, so this isn’t a great long-term solution, but something that lasts a few weeks or a couple of months might be just what you need to get that new home theatre system.
Talk to Me
If you’ve got your heart set on something big and fun in the near future, let me know. I can help you create a plan to get what you want. In the meantime, have a happy holiday season!