Picturing yourself lying on the beach and sipping a Pina Colada is motivation enough to begin planning your vacation for the year. Of course, going on vacation also means saving for vacation.
Unfortunately, if your vacation is months away, the expenses that come up everyday can make sticking to your savings plan difficult. Instead of simply putting money aside here and there, follow these three ways to add your vacation to your budget.
1. Cut Back in Other Areas
If you don’t have any extraneous income leftover within your budget each month, one of the best ways to add it is by cutting back in other areas. Take a look at various areas of your budget and evaluate what you spend. Think about things you might be able to eliminate from those areas for a couple of months.
Maybe you could eliminate meals out or a movie night at the theater. You could also swap them for a movie night at home instead. Or maybe you cut out cable or your gym membership for a couple of months from your personal services category. Wherever you choose to cut back, add that money to the new vacation part of your budget instead.
2. Pick Up Extra Income
If your budget is already stretched pretty thin between your expenses, one of the best ways to add a vacation to your budget is to start a side hustle. Find creative ways to make extra money, or start a side job to supplement your normal income.
Consider using your car to drive for Uber or Lyft. Or, you could choose to dogsit or babysit. There are also lots of other short-term opportunities you can find online. Whatever extra cash you make from your side job could go directly into the vacation category of your budget. An even better idea is to start a separate vacation savings account.
3. Refresh Your Budget to Include a New Account
Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to merely overhaul your current budget to include a vacation category without altering your other expenses. Examine how much money you have left over to put into savings each month. If you have a solid amount of income left after all your other expenses, consider taking a little out of other savings and investing it into your vacation. That being said, try not to take too much away each month from your other important savings categories, like your emergency fund or primary investments.
No matter what your motivation is, saving for any expense over an elongated period of time can get harder and harder as time goes. However, if you make a point to include it in your monthly budget, you’ll ensure you never forget about it. Even if your budget is already established or you’re well into your financial goals for the year, there are still ways to add your vacation to your budget. Follow a few savings tips and you’ll be on an airplane and lying on the beach in no time.
How much do you put into the vacation category of your budget?- Kayla