While the Memorial Day holiday is less than three weeks away, there’s still time to plan a nice summer vacation. Instead of charging your summer vacation on your credit card at the last minute, the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) recommends taking time to plan, earn and save so you can relax this summer without the stress of wondering how you’re going to pay for it all.
Establish budgets and goals. While making a budget may not be one of your favorite things in life, it’s the only way to estimate how much your vacation will cost. Airfare and lodging are the biggies, but don’t forget about food, entertainment, pet or child care, passports and any other costs that come to mind. With this savings goal in mind, you can set up a savings account exclusively for your vacation and have funds automatically deposited from your paycheck. If your target amount isn’t attainable by this summer, then consider a less expensive staycation. Visit <a href="http://www.travelok.com" data-cke-saved-href="http://www.travelok.com">www.travelok.com to see lists of festivals and events, state parks and more. You can also request free brochures. Keep your dream trip in mind, though, and keep saving so you can take that trip in the future.
Here are some other simple savings ideas:
- The trusty change jar — it adds up fast.
- Replace dining out with dining in.
- Have potlucks when entertaining at home.
- Bring leftovers to work instead of going out for lunch.
- Break bad habits — fancy coffee drinks, smoking and sugar addictions are not cheap.
- Take advantage of “free days” at your local museums, libraries, theaters and more.
- Host clothing swaps — Save money on clothes while enjoying time with friends. This is especially helpful with kids’ clothes that are typically outgrown before they’re worn out.This shift in mindset from spending to saving is a powerful way to reach your financial goals, no matter what they are.