There’s nothing more exciting than planning and booking a holiday. Whether you’re a home bird who loves exploring the wonders that the UK holds, a jet-setter with sun, sea and sand in mind or someone who likes a thrilling city break, knowing that you’re in a position to book that trip of a lifetime brings about endless excitement.
However, money doesn’t grow on trees and booking a holiday can be costly without the right attitude toward saving money.
Set Yourself A Budget – And Make It A Realistic Target
When you’re considering booking a holiday, wherever your destination may be, there are a number of different costs you need to take into consideration. Combining these costs allows you to come up with an overall target to save over a particular timescale.
When budgeting for a holiday, you should, first of all, consider the cost of travel to and from the location and the cost of accommodation. Whether or not you’re travelling abroad or staying in the UK, you still have to travel from your home to the location, and this cost should be factored in.
Accommodation is another necessity and you ought to shop around to find the best deals. As well as these initial costs, you should factor in the cost of insurance, toiletries, holiday clothes and spending money – a way of ensuring that you get the most out of your trip.
Your budget needs to be realistic. If you earn a combined wage of around £20,000 a year, for example, and have a house, car and other monthly outgoings, you’re unlikely to be able to put aside hundreds and hundreds of pounds on a monthly basis. By setting a realistic target, you will find meeting it much more achievable.
Set Up A Direct Debit – And Transfer Money Directly Into A Savings Account
There is a lot of temptation to say to yourself that you’ll save whatever money you have left at the end of the month. While this is an honourable idea, often you’ll overspend throughout the month because you forget about the promise to yourself. By the time the end of the month has arrived, you have no money left to pop into your savings account.
If you reverse this scenario and set up a realistic direct debit to leave your account on payday, you’ll find that you’re forced to budget the rest of your money accordingly. Again, make sure the amount is realistic.
When deciding how much money to save each month, be careful to make sure you don’t leave yourself short for the rest of the month. If you do, you’ll find yourself dipping into the money you’d allocated to your savings account, ultimately defeating the point of assigning money to the saving pot.
Waste Not, Want Not
Perhaps one of the largest monthly expenses outside of rental costs and transport is food, and the vast majority of people overspend on their monthly grocery bill. By using markets and butchers as opposed to expensive, overpriced supermarkets, you can significantly cut your monthly expenditure, leaving more money for fun.
Planning your meals each week and making extra portions to take to work for lunch further saves you money as well as keeping you focused on a healthy mindset. Takeaways and eating out is incredibly tempting because of its practicality, but it’s much less cost efficient than cooking your own meals.
While a night out is incredibly enjoyable, you could have just as much fun at half of the cost if you hosted a dinner party for your friends, for example. A bottle of wine and a tasty homecooked meal will sound good to you and your friends – and your bank account will likely agree with you.
When you’re ready to go on your trip, the money-saving doesn’t have to stop there. Take snacks such as cereal bars and dry fruit to eat during the day and make sure you have a reusable bottle to carry around to fill with water. This will save you even more money, leaving you more to spend on activities.
Make Sacrifices – But Not Too Many
In terms of actually saving for the holiday itself, you may find you need to make some sacrifices to afford it. A sacrifice might involve making and taking your lunch to work rather than buying it on your lunch break every day. Another sacrifice might involve taking your own coffee to work in a reusable cup rather than stopping off at a coffee shop in the morning.
At the same time, you still have to live. Removing all of the enjoyable things from your life will not make you happy – particularly if you’ve gotten used to having them.
Another way to save it to check your bills. What direct debits leave your account on a monthly basis? Is there one that you could cancel to save money? Looking at your outgoings each month can save you a pretty penny: let’s be realistic, you don’t need Amazon Prime AND Netflix, do you?