Thinking about your next vacation, but not sure where the money for it will come from? It is never too early to start saving. Here are five easy ways to set funds aside that you may want to consider.
1. Open a dedicated savings account for your vacation funds
Setting up an additional account may seem like extra work initially, but it is an easy way to start saving for vacation. First, placing money in a separate account from the one you use for everyday or emergency expenses ensures it will be there when you're ready to start booking. Second, watching your vacation savings grow is a great incentive to keep setting money aside.
If this is something you have already done, you're already in good shape.
2. Set up an auto draft for a specific amount every week/pay period
After opening a dedicated savings account, another great idea for saving money towards your next vacation is an auto draft. Pick a set amount to send to your vacation savings and how often you want to send it ($25 per week is a great place to start), then set up the auto draft. If you only want it to occur during a specific time period, you can set it up to include that information as well.
After that? Sit back and watch your vacation funds grow without lifting a finger.
3. Use cash-back sites and apps for online shopping
These days, most people do at least some of their shopping online. You can earn some cash back on qualifying purchases through cash-back sites and apps like Ebates and ShopAtHome. Some may have browser extensions to make it even easier. Once you reach the specified minimum amount, you'll receive a check. Just deposit it into your vacation savings for an extra boost beyond what gets auto drafted every week.
4. Cook at home/Bring your lunch to work
Yes, eating dinner out is easy. Yes, grabbing lunch with your coworkers can be a great break from the stress of the office. The problem is that these easy solutions for resolving your hunger also dig deep into your pocket book. Try cooking dinner at home. Or, if that's something you already do, start bringing leftovers for lunch the next day. It may not be as much fun in the short term, but the extra bucks you save will get you a few steps closer to the vacation you've been dreaming about.
Are you more likely to stop off for coffee in the morning than go out for lunch or dinner? Invest in a coffee maker and brew your own cup before you leave in the morning. You can save more than you thought. Maybe you'll get lucky and come up with a coffee drink that's better than what you order now.
5. Clean out your house and sell what you're not using
Most of us have things lying around the house that we never use and other people are looking for. Sell them online and earn some extra spending money for your vacation. Apps like OfferUp, Letgo, and Close5 make the process quick and easy. If apps do not appeal, websites like eBay still exist, and even Facebook's Buy and Sell Markets can be put to good use. With this tip, you will be able to kill two birds with one stone: earning money for your vacation and getting rid of what you're not using.
For a more complete list of apps you can use to sell things you are willing to part with, check out Well Kept Wallet's 28 Best Apps to Sell Your Stuff Locally and Online.
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