Financial Physician’s Daily RX
Now is the Time to Start Planning for Your Annual Vacation
Now that the holidays are over, you may not be thinking about spending another dime on excesses or things you would typically not buy. However, like it or not, now is the time to start planning and saving for your 2012 family vacation.
Making just a few small adjustments could mean the difference between a stay-at-home vacation at the local municipal park, or a full-blown trip of a lifetime. Which would you prefer?
I have always professed taking advantage of your annual leave, especially if you are unable to roll it over to the next year. Using your leave is like money in the bank, you get to relax and enjoy yourself while still getting paid. If you don’t use your leave and end up loosing it, you are literally throwing money out the window.
Here are just a few simple ways to save some money for that next vacation?
The Creative Date Night – Every couple needs some time alone and engaged in something outside of the routine. However, it doesn’t always mean you have to go to dinner and a movie. Staying at home, making a nice dinner and renting a movie can be just as rewarding as going out, if you consider the money you just saved. $25 on dinner and $20 for a movie is $45 dollars you can put aside towards your vacation. Not at all trivial, you will save $360 by the end of August for your vacation and still have a non routine and engaging evening. Simply include your date night meal in your shopping planning, make something special and include ingredients you already shop for, and there is no added expense other than a few bucks for the movie.
Total saving so far = $360
Cut The Fancy Coffee – I know it is really cool to show up at the morning meeting with a fancy coffee cup, but at $3 a day or more, you are spending no less than $15 per week. Why not start getting acquainted with the free coffee at work or brew your own for pennies a cup. This will save you as much as $45 a month, based on just a three-week month (to keep it simple), you will save another $360 by the end of August.
Total savings so far = $720
Get Rid Of The News Delivery – There is nothing better than sitting around on Sunday skimming through the paper. But, with rates for seven-day delivery as high as $20 per month, you’re spending total $20.80 a month or $166 through August. If you already pay for Internet, why not get your news there or on your smart phone?
Total Savings so far = $886
Bring Your Own Lunch to Work – This may be the best personal savings mechanism available to you. If you paid $8.95 for a turkey sandwich, tiny bag of chips and a medium soda, how much can you save if you made your own lunch? As an example, a pound of premium turkey is $7.95, a large bag of chips is $3.99 and a six pack of water or soda will run around $3.99 (all on the high end). This store bought food will feed you Monday through Thursday for $15.99 or $3.98 a day. Factor in tips and gas; I would argue that you can save as much as $4.50 a day. Based on four days a week and a three-week month, you will save a minimum of $288 by the end of August and you still get to treat yourself to lunch on Friday.
Total savings so far = $1,174
Although the math above may be fuzzy, considering how many weeks there are through August, etc., these tips are not. These rough examples truly show that by making just a few minor changes to your habits and behaviors, you can realistically save a minimum of $1,174 towards a vacation by the end of August.
If you want to take your vacation earlier, step up the savings. If you want to take the vacation later in the year, start now and have more to spend. It’s just that simple. Either way, discipline yourself to start making cuts wherever and whenever possible. If you stay true to your ambitions, your savings will grow and you will become more and more inspired to save, and continue the momentum.