How to save for a vacation on a tight budget -savvy saving tips

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Everyone wants to travel more. Having the ability to let go of everyday habits such work, kids, appointments and the same old routine means we can “let loose” and really come out of our shell. But sometimes our chosen destinations feel hard to financially obtain. So knowing how to save for a vacation on a tight budget means you can be on your way sooner than later. Here are my best money saving tips for your vacation fund.

I’ve been traveling the globe for over 20 years on a pretty tight budget.

Being able to save money before, during and after you travel takes some seriously savvy tips and tricks, especially if you want to do it all over again.

Now I get to share my knowledge and help others achieve their goal of frequent travel year after year when on a budget.


How to save money for a vacation on a tight budget

The purpose of saving money for a vacation is to make sure you will have enough money to go right. So having a savings goal in mind is a good idea.

And while there are plenty of great ways to save for a vacation, there are also some particular lifestyle choices you can also address. These have the potential to keep the savings train well and truly turning over, ready for your next bucket list destination.

So ask yourself. Do you want to save for only one upcoming holiday?

Or would you love to become a frequent traveler with a fool proof strategy each and every vacation?

If so, then let’s dive into all the great and easiest ways to save money to travel.

Look at your current lifestyle for the biggest clues on how to save money to travel

Are you living beyond your means?

Take a look at how you live right now. The house you live in, the car you drive, the “toys” you own and the way you spend money in general.

Think about what ultimately brings you joy and what doesn’t.

Are you keeping a check on your spending and have a good idea what is going where?

Are you spending money on things that have no meaning or joy?

One of the easiest ways on how to save for a vacation on a tight budget is to overhaul your lifestyle if possible.

Start with creating a budget, because if you don’t know exactly where your money is going right now, it may be hard to save money for traveling.

how to save for a vacation on a tight budget

When I make plans to travel I go into serious savings mode. I still want to live comfortably but I realize I’ll need to sacrifice a few things to make it happen.
How much you want to travel, only you know. What you are willing to give up is the question.


Down grade your lifestyle

So how much do you need for all those bells and whistles? Are you living within your means or just trying to keep up with the Joneses?  Do you really need that fancy new car when a second hand model would be sufficient, or a new Thermomix when you don’t really cook that often.

Track your spending

 how to save for a vacation on a tight budget
Knowing your current spending is the best way in reducing your current spending

Savings start when you begin to understand what you are spending. Write all expenses down from utilities, food, clothes, insurances, fuel and anything else. Look at where the money goes and now decide what areas you can cut down on. Remember, it only takes a saving of as little as $50 per week to save over $2500 per year. I could spend a month in South East Asia for that.

Visit your Bank Manager

When is the last time you spoke to your bank about your finances?

Maybe it’s time to bring in an outside opinion about how you can save more money. Understanding your finances will help you make better decisions and get your costs down. Bank fees are a good starting point, but also restructuring your loan repayments and seeing if you can get your debt paid off sooner could help in the long run.

If you haven’t spoke to your bank manager in a while or NEVER then it could be worth the trouble. I hadn’t even considered it myself until a phone call from my bank inviting me to come in for a chat. After a quick discussion I found out they had a lot to offer to get me saving more.

I changed my insurance, opened up a couple of new savings accounts to help track my spending and changed my credit card which gained me free travel insurance. It was a worth while visit so and only helped me reach my travel saving goals quicker.

After a visit with the bank manager, I opened up an account just for my travel. I poured as much into as I could and it gave me a clear idea of where I was at with my savings. So set an amount you can commit to each week and any extra is a bonus.

Open a travel savings account

Let’s make it official!

Why not open a savings account so you have a proper place to inject your spare cash into. It will certainly give you an incentive to build it up knowing that’s your vacation flourishing right there.

Start with an amount you can afford on a regular basis and if you come across any extra funds it can go towards it as well.

Imagine being able to allocate just $50 per week, that’s $2600 per year ready to go toward a fabulous getaway.

Stop eating out so much

how to save for a vacation on a tight budget

It’s nice to have a night off cooking but it’s not always cheap to go out every week. It’s also these types of costs that can go by without much notice.

Try cooking your favourite takeaway food as a cheaper option or you could always double up on your recipes and make enough for tomorrow night too. That way you’ll get to have the night off after all.

Buy a coffee machine

Love your coffee. Me too.

But I just can’t justify the daily expense when I have my heart set on cocktails on some tropical island instead.

Investing in a good quality coffee machine could help save you hundreds. At $5 a day for takeaway coffee – 5 days a week,that’s $1200 per year JUST FOR COFFEE !!!!!!

Pack your own lunch

Buying lunch every day just doesn’t fit under the cost effective banner. Even taking your own lunch 2 or 3 times per week can help you save over time.

save money to travel

Shop your groceries with a set shopping list

Food shopping without a set list can distract you from buying only what you need.

Consider making up your weekly menu and creating a list from that. That way you won’t get carried away with food browsing.

Stop shouting everyone

Are you a generous soul? Always splurging on your friends and family?

As generous as you may be, it might be time to tighten up the purse strings. You can still be generous in other ways such as donating your time or making up home made treats.

It also works for birthdays and Christmas. Put a spend budget on presents and stick to it.

Shop less

Compulsive buyers beware! You won’t hit your targets by being weak.

Do you really need 10 jackets, especially when you only really like 3 of them. We have all bought something that we didn’t love that much, only to have it sit in the cupboard year after year.

Shopping for ourselves can be a reaction to boredom or just making ourselves feel better. But it wont get you very far if you can’t control your purse strings.

Change your mobile phone plan

How much are you currently paying for your mobile phone plan?

I was paying over $100 per month for a phone plan which is outrageous, I know! Once my plan was complete I decided not to upgrade as usual but instead kept my original phone. I then changed to a prepaid plan at only $30 per month.

That’s a huge saving for not having to have the latest and greatest phone on the market.

Pay your bills on time

Late payments can mean late fees so pay your bills on or before their due date. If you are like me and lose track of time, opt for direct debit or set reminders.

One of the easiest money saving tips is to also pay all your credit cards on time. Better still, stop using so much credit and get on top of things.

Cut back on power

Still asking yourself how to save for a vacation on a tight budget? Electricity is one of the highest utilities we pay these days.

Cut back on power by investing in energy efficient light bulbs and buying power saving appliances. Also turn off appliances and lights you are not using.

It might be frugal but over time the savings should speak for themselves.

Shop around

Next time you need a new TV, fridge or straightening iron, shop around.

Even if you want the best TV on the market with exceptional picture quality, the same appliance may be $100 cheaper from a different supplier. So don’t jump the gun before you have researched where else you can buy it.

Have a few drinks before you go out

Not driving tonight? Ask your friends around for a couple of before party drinks rather than buying them all whilst out.

Take snacks to events

The cinema has to be one of the most marked up food locations ever.

Concerts, zoos, sporting events and even airports can have you forking out three times the price. So pack some snacks for the kids and yourself next time you go out and put the money you saved into that travel account we talked about.

Ask for cash presents

Some people are just so hard to buy for. For this reason I usually go with cash or vouchers.

So why not ask the same in return. If you feel a little awkward then at least drop some subtle but obvious hints next time your birthday comes around. Your loved ones might ask you straight out so don’t forget…cash please.

Start a join jar

The simple yet effective coin jar has to be one of the easiest ways to save a decent amount of cash for your holiday.

All that loose change floating around in your wallet or the bottom of your handbag needs a good home right. Watching that little pile of coins and small bills grow is weirdly rewarding and once you start, you really can’t stop.

You could easily save up to $500 to $1000 a year doing this. Even more if you getting cracking now.

Do you have any other tips on how to save for a vacation on a tight budget? Be sure to share in the comments box below.

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