We all aspire to do something fun each summer, but not all of us save beforehand. Here are some smart ways to save before a summer vacation.
Smart ways to save more for a summer vacation
Summer vacations can be a blast, but they can also have some hefty price tags. I mean, who’s going to pay for all that tequila?
But seriously, save smart and have a smart summer vacation. Be careful out there.
Why you should save for summer vacation
While many of us just want to pack a suitcase with our bathing suits, hop in our Jeep, and speed away with the windows down, it’s smart to get a vacation savings account going before you do that.
Here are some reasons why you might save before rushing out:
- Accidents. Accidents happen. Your plane could be delayed, forcing you to spend money on a hotel, new flight, and food. Your car could break down, leaving you needing to find a ride to a mechanic, pay to get it fixed, and then continue your vacation. What if you were hospitalized? Instead of having medical bills piling up, hindering you from another vacation for the next 2 or 3 years, you’d be able to pay that down and afford to travel again.
- Interest. You earn interest on your savings account. As a result, you’ll pull in more money to put towards your summer vacation.
- More fun. Yeah, more fun - with more finances in hand, you have the option to enjoy your time without worrying about how you’ll pay for and recover from your summer vacation for the rest of the year.
The importance of using savings instead of credit cards
Credit cards charge you interest, whereas savings accounts give you interest back. It can be a good idea to use a summer vacation savings account instead of a credit card because you won’t be charged any interest. However, if your credit card offers travel rewards, consider using it for expenses you know can afford and can pay off quickly.
Using a savings account means your summer vacation will cost you less in the long run. It’ll also keep your money out of reach, so it’s there when you need it for your summer break.
If you keep your summer vacation money safely tucked away in a savings account, you’ll be less likely to spend it and have nothing in time for your vacation.
When to start saving for summer vacation
Many people wonder when the best time to start saving for their summer vacation is. Here at Bright, we recommend starting to save right now.
The earlier in the year you start your summer vacation savings, the sooner you’ll reach your goal and rack up more interest.
But if you’re new to vacation savings, you may end up with only a month to three months of savings acquired. This is fine. If you can get into the habit of saving now, and reward yourself with a great vacation, you’ll set yourself up for more savings next time around.
So, how can you actually do this?
How to save more
If you aren’t sure how to save more, a common guideline is the 50-20-30 rule.
Here’s a basic breakdown:
50% for essential needs
20% to savings (like summer vacation)
30% on wants and unexpected expenditures
If you plan to go big this summer, with lots of splurging, set a budget for your trip and save as much as you can before you go.
Set a budget
As much as you’ll want to let loose, it’s much better if you sit down and get a general idea of the vacation you want. Figure out these things:
- Where you’re going
- Who you’re going with
- How you’ll travel
- What you’ll need to bring
- What you will be doing
- How much food you’ll eat
- Where you’ll stay
Even if you just hash this stuff out tentatively, it will help you out to set a summer vacation savings account budget.
Set monthly savings goals
It’s always a good idea to save 20% of your income each month. When you set up goals for your vacation savings, consider how they impact your other savings priorities.
You may need to increase or decrease this depending on how much you expect to spend on your summer vacation.
Try saving in small amounts regularly
Not all of us want to dish out a lot up front for a summer savings account. Sometimes, it’s easier to put in 5% to 10% every two weeks.
Just remember: the more you put into your summer vacation savings, the faster you’ll reach your goals. Conversely, if you opt to do the least amount, you’ll get the least amount of return.
Celebrate milestones along the way
Saving each month is great, but it can get exhausting. You’ll feel a bit burnt out eventually. Making sacrifices so you can save more can make life a drag.
So reward yourself. When you hit a monthly savings goal, reward yourself with a bit of TLC now and then.
A great hack is to “prep” yourself for the vacation - it’s like an excuse to spend money, but it’s all for your vacation. Collect some items you need for your trip, or book that hotel ahead of time.
Buy yourself some new clothes, get a new hairstyle, or sign up for a gym membership—things like that. Pay for something that will contribute to a great summer vacation.
You’ll feel better about yourself and still continue saving.
Don’t stretch yourself thin when saving for your summer vacation. By no means should you dread dreaming about your vacation.
Finding smart ways to save for your summer vacation should make you feel more at ease with the whole thing. Also, if you save early enough, it will make the rest of your year go easier.
Who knows? Maybe you don’t spend as much as you planned. Then you’ll have more money in your savings and create a lifelong habit that will snowball into good finances for years to come.