I have been asked quite a bit about how we manage to save for our summer vacations. We travel so frequently and now as a family of six we still manage to pack the vacations in. We are just getting back from our trip to Puerto Vallarta and had friends telling us how jealous they were that we were able to pull off another vacation. Guess what? Traveling is not out of the question, even with a six-month-old. Here are five things we do in our everyday life to plan for our next summer vacation.
Tips for Saving for a Summer Vacation
I look at vacationing as an essential part of raising our children. There are so many life lessons and memories to be made on vacation. After all, this is the main reason we decided to homeschool our children. I always imagined the hands-on approach we would take as parents and our dream is a reality. We still go out to eat, go shopping, buy the kids toys, we have just learned to not overspend.
Start a Vacation Savings Account
Start a savings account dedicated to vacationing. This will be where you dump all of your dream vacation money. My husband and I commit to adding any extra money into this account. It adds up, even if it is just twenty dollars every week. We pay all of our bills each month, set money into our emergency fund and a little into a vacation fund and then budget the rest. With the Any unspent weekly budget money, we always try to transfer into this account. For the kids, we have a jar in the kitchen where everyone puts all the loose change they find. Once it is filled we take it to the bank and donate it to our vacation savings account.
It’s been ten years since I’ve had a credit card, no credit cards mean I don’t have tons of debt. Even if you do live off of credit cards, challenge yourself to cut down. Taking on a cash-only approach has helped me maintain my spending habits. I can’t spend what I don’t have accessible in my bank account. Next time you want something, ask yourself if you can pay cash for it. If you can’t, do you really need it? Cut up the cards and start working to paying off the debt faster.
On top of a cash-only spending habit, I have a weekly budget for spending. Groceries, eating out and spending money all come out of my weekly spending budget. I make it a game to not go over budget and have cut costs and saved more money than ever. For example every week I have a budget of $150 at the grocery store, this amount fairly easy to attain for my family. We even go under the budget some weeks. Last week I managed to meal plan very simple and inexpensive meals.
Don’t let coupons scare you. Saving just $2 this week on Luvs Ultra Leakguards diaper packs allows us to save even on essentials we need. Keeping an eye out on print-at-home Luvs coupons before I shop is an easy and painless way to save for our next vacation. I use coupons and plan for my week so that I can put any unused weekly budget money into my vacation savings account. Print-at-home this Luvs coupon $2 off any one diaper pack. On top of the $2 Luvs coupon that I can use at any mass, discount, or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are sold, I also watch for any deals on Luvs at my favorite stores.
Write Down Your Spending
Keep a log of your spending habits and save receipts. Challenge yourself to cut costs in different places when you can. I cut out spending $50 a week when I budgeted my meal plans. I have a list of meals that cost us under $10 for a family of six. I ask the family for input on what they feel like eating and we are able to eat what we love and stay way under budget.
Vacation Shop Like A Boss
Be flexible with where you want to travel and when. We keep our eyes out for vacation deals, flights that are hugely discounted and try to stay away from peak times. We also shop around and have a few friends that share deals they find also.
Do you have a summer vacation planned already? Where are you going? We still have our beach road trips planned for next month.