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There are two types of friends in this world: the planners and the adventurers.
The Adventurer, we’ll call friend one, will send a text saying:
“Girl! I found a great flight to Barbados, $200 round trip for next weekend. Pack your bags because we’re going! Buy your ticket, put in your vacation days, and we’ll figure out hotels later.😜”
The Planner, friend two, will send you a text along the lines of:
“Hey girl, I’ve been thinking about taking a trip for my bday. I don’t know where yet, but we have 4 months to plan😊”
Whichever friends you have, or are, being prepared for vacations is a must. You know what they say, if you stay ready, you never have to get ready. Today’s post will tell you how to do just that.
How to Save for Pleasure / Vacations Without Breaking the Bank
#1 Set Up An Automatic Vacation Fund
Whether you have friend one or friend two, set up a vacation fund with automatic deposits. Putting aside at least $50 from each paycheck will allow you to be prepared for a vacation at any time since you won’t be starting from scratch. I use Cap One 360, they allow me to have multiple Savings accounts for free.
Besides, even if you don’t end up going on a vacation this year, you could use that money towards one of your other goals.
#2 Give Yourself Enough Time to Save in Advance:
The key to traveling without breaking the bank is having time to prepare for your trips. If you know you have a trip four months from now, you can easily set up bi-weekly transfers to your vacation fund per paycheck. That way you’ll have at least 8 checks to fund your trip rather than dipping into your emergency savings.
Automatic payments pretty much guarantee you won’t lose. For one, you’ll be less tempted to spend the money since it’s out of sight and out of mind. Even more, you’ll learn to live without it.
#3 Learn to Say No If You Don’t Have the Cash
It can be easy to agree to your friend’s vacation when you have a credit card, especially if you already have credit card debt. But unless you’re able to pay off that balance in full the next month, cash is king. You want to avoid getting trapped into the debt cycle as much as possible.
By planning in advance, you’ll avoid adding more debt to your pile. Remember, your goals are a priority, and real friends will understand.
#4 Use Saving Apps
If you lack discipline in the saving arena, saving apps will be your best friend. There are plenty out there to choose from.
One app that I personally use and love is Digit. It automatically pulls money from my checking account into a savings account without me even feeling it. If I want my money transferred back into my checking account, all I have to do is text “empty” and it will be there the next day. I also receive text alerts every day with the amount of money in the account. And best of all? It’s free.
From this app alone, I’ve used $200 as spending money on my trip to the Bahamas, and $357 towards my student loan debt. Feel free to sign up for digit here.
The secret to saving for a vacation, or any important goal, is proper planning. If you have time to prepare, you’ll have less anxiety. No more spending your entire paycheck on a trip wondering how you’re going to pay your rent when you get back. You’ll be able to relax on your next vacay with piña colada and spending money in hand. All you have to do is plan ahead, set up a separate savings account, and enjoy the breeze. I talk more about how I saved money for my last vacation with Digit in this post.
Post edited by the lovely: Melysa Latham
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