With bills to pay, mouths to feed, and a car to keep running, taking time off and spending hard-earned money on a holiday can seem out of reach for many people.
But if you truly need to get away (and who doesn’t?), here are some ways to save money for a holiday:
Check your finances
Often we don’t keep track of what we’re spending, and how we’re saving. The first step should be to check if you can switch any credit card debt to an interest free card for six months, so you can pay back a large chunk, and stop paying for interest every month.
Check your direct debits, since sometimes we don’t notice exactly what’s going out of our accounts. Are you using that gym membership?
While you may have got a great deal when you initially signed up for your mobile, water, internet, and electricity, if you haven’t taken a look at what’s available lately, now could be the perfect time. Shop around and you could end up saving hundreds of dollars by simply changing providers.
Do you have a spare room you’re not using? Why not rent it out or put it on AirBnB? This is also a great way to meet people, and you may end up connecting with someone who can offer you accommodation when you take your holiday.
Take a look at your commute, and see if you can walk, cycle, or car pool to work to save gas, and check if there’s somewhere cheaper where you could be buying your groceries.
Make smart choices
Use price comparison sites before buying anything, to be sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Websites like Groupon and Living Social are also excellent ways to save up to 70% on things like hair cuts and manicures if you need to treat yourself.
Sell what you can
Do you have an old laptop or phone? If you’re not using your electronics, stick them on a site like Ebay and watch the money come in. Do the same for old clothes, furniture, and jewellery, and you could find yourself with a nice little lump of savings towards that holiday.
Keep track of your expenses
It may seem like a pain, but simply writing down your expenses allows you to see where you’re leaking money. Commit to writing everything down for a whole week, and you’ll know if you need to cut back on coffee or clothes.
Take a cheap holiday
Just because you want to get away doesn’t mean it has to cost a crazy amount of money. Cheap holidays can be just as fun as expensive ones, and being thrifty can mean you’ll visit places that you might not otherwise get to see, and have a more authentic experience.
Go with a group
Traveling with a group can be one of the best ways to save money. Accommodation, meals, and transport are all slashed when others are traveling as well, and you’ll find that more people simply make the trip more fun. Plus, traveling with more people will mean you’ll be able to take your holiday sooner, since your budget wont need to be as high.