May 4th. It can’t already be May 4th?!
If this was your thought when you looked at the calendar this morning, I know how you feel. The first quarter of the year flew by, and summer is somehow already at our doorstep.
One of the best parts of summer has to be summer vacations. But if you looked up and realized it’s already May and you haven’t yet started saving for your vacation, don’t freak out just yet and grab the credit card. There are a few ways you can add some quick cash to that vacation fund still.
Do some weekend jobs
Think about all the people you saw talking about spring cleaning. How many of them actually followed through and did it? There may be plenty of people who wouldn’t mind a little extra help getting their house ready for the outdoor season, and they probably wouldn’t mind paying someone to do it. Post a status on Facebook that you’re looking for houses to clean, and you may find yourself racking up $50 to $100 (or more) per house.
If cleaning is not your thing, think of your strong suits. Can you offer childcare for date night? Design a website for a small business? Use your skills to help others and earn some extra cash at the same time!
Create a bill for your vacation fund
When you’re figuring up your budget for this month and the next couple of months, add a line for vacation. Make this a non-negotiable category, and apply some money to it just like any other bill. The only difference is instead of paying somebody else, you’re paying your savings account!
It’s not too late to change this month’s budget if you’ve already made it too. Just swap out a few of those negotiable categories such as eating out or entertainment to funnel some funds to the vacation savings.
- Related post: What to do When You Budget and There’s Nothing Left
Sell the stuff you don’t need
This one knocks out two birds with one stone: you get the guilt of procrastination and clutter off your mind, and you add some cash to your vacation fund. We sold a MacBook my husband bought for school and didn’t need anymore on the Facebook marketplace. This added a huge chunk to our savings!
Go through your house and round up some items you know you could easily sell. Old cell phones, laptops, cameras, beauty products such as perfumes/colognes, and name brand clothing are all good examples. List them on Facebook garage sales, Poshmark or similar sites for clothing, or eBay.
Temporarily pause some other goals
As much as I’m a firm believer in paying off debt, I’m also a believer in experiences and family memories. While $1,500 or so could make huge progress on paying off debt or building up an emergency fund, it would also be put to great use by taking your family to the beach. Just do everything in moderation, and keep costs down as low as you can.
Plan the $5,000 trip to Hawaii or Disney Land for when you’re debt free and have that fully funded emergency fund. That will be an occasion to celebrate!
I know there are many opinions on this, and most personal finance experts would probably tell you not to take a vacation while paying off debt. There are many experiences you can have this summer for free or low cost. You can go camping, visit out of town family and check out their city, or make the park your second home for the summer.
If you’re torn, just do what’s right for your family. If you decide not to take a vacation this year so you can focus on paying off debt, don’t feel guilty. A debt free life is one of the best gifts you can give to your kids!
Delay as long as possible
If you can wait until August or even September to take your vacation, do it. This not only gives you more time to save for your trip, but also prices can be a lot lower in late summer. We took a trip to Destin, Florida last summer the week before school started, and we paid probably a third of what it would have costed in June or July.
Be flexible with your dates if you can. Start looking at rentals now to get a good idea of what prices look like at different times.
I hope that you’ve gained some good ideas on saving for your vacation, even if it’s only a few months away. Whatever you do, I don’t want you to go into anymore debt just to go on vacation. Don’t even consider than an option, and you’ll find yourself coming up with lots of ways to save the money instead.
Do some side jobs, create a vacation line in your budget. Sell stuff you don’t need and pause your other goals. Delay your trip if possible. These are all great ways to quickly save up for vacation and take that trip you’ve been dreaming of!
What’s your favorite way to get some funds together for vacation? Where do you plan to go this year? Let me know down in the comments!