06 June 2018

6 Tips to Save for the Trip of a Lifetime

Everyone has that one place where they want to travel; the place which is at the top of their bucket list. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and sharing it with family or friends is often a goal as well. But, we know that these types of vacations are often expensive and out of reach. However, with enough preparation, there are ways that you can make your dream trip come true.

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Make a Plan--
While it’s true that expenses can change dramatically, its still a good idea to have an idea of how much your trip is going to cost. Do some research and decide between your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Maybe you’d like to fly first-class but it’s a short trip so it’s not that important. However, if it’s a long trip and you have certain physical constraints, first-class or business-class may be the only way you can comfortably travel. The same applies to accommodations, length of stay, and companions.
Once you have a budget, you can start saving toward your trip. And the best way to save money is to cut back on expenses and set aside those savings in your vacation fund.
Take Control of Your Meal Budget--
This is a big expense for most families but there are so many ways to save money that it’s one of the easiest places to start. First, create a meal plan. Having a weekly meal plan prevents you from spending money on “impulse purchases”, since you are only buying what you need for that week. Shop sales and create additional savings by using store and manufacturer’s coupons. And finally, always check your refrigerator! Wasting food is a huge problem in most households. Make a point of having one “potluck” day in your meal plan so you can take advantage of any leftovers.
Lower Your Energy Costs--
Heating and cooling costs comprise the highest percentage of your utility bill. Things like using a programmable thermostat, sealing drafts, maintaining or replacing insulation, using fans during warmer months and space heaters during colder months, will all make a big difference towards lowering your costs. Most electric companies offer free audits of your home which can provide you with valuable tips on how to reduce your energy consumption. Replacing your regular bulbs with fluorescent ones can reduce your lighting costs by as much as 75%.
Reduce Your Insurance Premiums--
Being loyal to your insurer doesn’t always pay off. It’s a good idea to periodically shop around for homeowners and vehicle policies because you can often find more competitive rates with the same or even better coverage. There are also discounts that may be available to you and that you’re not taking advantage of such as: senior citizen discounts, safe driver incentives, and added savings if you bundle your policies together.
Cancel or Reduce Your Cable TV Service--
According to Liechtman Research Group, the average cable bill in 2017, was $99.10! You can avoid paying for television by investing in a good antenna. But, if you want more viewing options there are streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime which offer content ranging from documentaries to television programs. The ability to access these and other types of content is made easy and affordable by using an Amazon Fire Stick ($40) or Fire TV ($70) and a free media player such as Kodi.
Take Advantage of an Automated Savings Plan--
Many employers can set up a dollar amount or percentage of each paycheck to go directly into a savings account. That way you prevent this money from every hitting your checking account making it easier to save.
Brown Bag It--
Even if you only spend $10 a day on lunch, that adds up to $200.00 a month! This savings adds up quickly.
Don’t let your dream vacation become just a dream. It’s not difficult to make it a reality as long as you make a plan and follow through. Once you incorporate these money-saving tips into your life, they will become habit and you won’t feel deprived. Especially, as you get closer to being able to take that once-in-a-lifetime trip.

No comments: