In this article I am going to talk about how to create a travel savings fund.
One of the best things about this wonderful world that we live in is just how diverse and yet beautiful it is. The mountains have their beauty. The forests have their beauty. The beaches have their beauty.
There are so many uniquely beautiful places to see around the world. That is one of the things that makes travel so desirable!
But travel can quickly become a very expensive habit. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to save up money for travel savings so that you can travel without going into credit card or other debt.
Don’t let your travels be tainted by debt that follows you around afterward. Use these simple tips to fund your travel savings account so that you can save up the money before you travel and enjoy traveling debt and guilt free!
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7 Tips to Fund Your Travel Savings!
Some of my favorite memories from childhood were the fun vacations that we had as a family. My dad loves to find great deals (that’s one of many traits that I likely inherited from him :)), and he loved to travel and take vacations, so we did a fair amount of traveling while I was growing up.
We have a large family, so most of the traveling was within the U.S. so that we could drive rather than fly, but it was still awesome!
In this article you will learn how to build up your travel savings fund so that you can plan and take fun trips that you and your family will always remember! Read on to learn 7 simple tips to fund your travel savings!
Top Tip: We are big fans of Airbnb to save money on travel! To receive $40 off your first Airbnb stay, sign up here!
1. Figure out how much you would like to save every month toward your travel savings fund.
Once you know that you want to save toward travel, look at your monthly budget, and decide how much money you can afford to save each month toward your travel savings.
Even if the amount is small at first, such as $50 or $100 per month, the money will add up pretty quickly over time. I will also give ideas for how you can save more toward your travel savings fund below.
No budget? No problem. Find out how to create a simple budget that works here.
2. Set up a separate bank account for your travel savings.
I am a big proponent of setting up separate savings accounts to fund your various financial goals and dreams.
By setting up separate savings accounts, you won’t accidentally spend money you were intending to use for one thing on something else.
If your current bank doesn’t allow you to easily set up multiple savings accounts, look at opening an account with an online bank like Capital One 360. We have been banking with them for about 15 years (since the time that they were ING Direct), and even after being bought by Cap One, I have to admit they are still a great bank. We actually have more than 20 savings accounts, if you can believe it. But it helps us be able to easily save money toward our various financial goals and obligations, and it also lets us easily see our progress toward reaching those goals.
Learn about the 9 savings accounts that I feel that every family should have
3. Transfer money automatically from your checking account to your travel savings account.
Once you know how much you want to save each month toward your travel fund, then set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account to make that happen.
You might transfer money on the first day of every month or some other day of the month, or you could transfer money every other week following your pay schedule, for example.
When and how often you transfer the money doesn’t really matter; what matters is that you automate the savings process so that you know it will actually happen. 🙂
Find out more about automating your money in various areas of your finances (such as paying bills and paying off debt, saving for emergencies and putting money toward sinking funds, investing for retirement and kids’ college, and so on) and how it can help you to reach your financial goals and succeed with money.
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4. Find ways to reduce spending in order to build up your travel savings more quickly.
Another important step in building your travel savings is to reduce spending in other areas where you can. Most people can fairly easily make cuts in the following areas, especially if they haven’t really been budgeting or following a spending plan.
Save money on entertainment.
There are tons of ways that you can save money on your monthly or yearly entertainment and related costs. Here are some of the biggest ones:
- Ditch your dish (satellite) or cable service.
- Save money on your cell phones or smartphones.
- Save money on your internet service.
- Go to the movies less.
- Buy fewer books and movies (go to the library instead :)).
- Go to fewer and less expensive music concerts.
- Go to fewer and less expensive sports games.
- Spend less on video and computer games.
- Spend less on electronic devices.
- Cancel your subscriptions to magazines and paid TV services (Netflix, Sling, and so on—again, videos from the library are free!).
- Consider canceling your memberships to the gym, rec center, museums, aquariums, zoos, and the like.
- Spend less money on recreational activities like skiing, bowling, miniature golf, playing arcades, and so on.
- Spend less on Christmas shopping.
- Find ways to save money on family vacations.
- Reduce the amount allocated to your personal monthly spending money (your fun money or blow money).
Save money eating out.
The average family in America spends about $3,000 a year eating out. That means there is a lot of money that can be saved here! I know it probably sounds crazy, but we spend less than $300 a year eating out. And I don’t feel deprived! Want to know why? The reason is that that frugality has helped us to reach other financial goals that we have—and to do it on one average income.
The best thing you can do to save money eating out is to simply do less of it. But there are lots of other ways that you can save money eating out, as well! Read this article to learn how to save money eating out.
Save money on groceries.
There are so many things that you can do to reduce your grocery spending. I discuss more than 70 ways that you can save money on groceries in this article.
But here are some of the things you can do to save the most money:
- Use a meal plan.
- Create a grocery list, and follow it.
- Use a grocery price comparison cheat sheet.
- Shop at discount and salvage grocery stores.
- Save money on meat.
- Save money on produce.
- Spend less money on soda, juice, sweets, snacks, alcohol, and so on.
- Buy grocery items when they are on sale and in season.
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Save money on transportation.
Another way that you really need to be smart with your money is with your spending on transportation. The average car payment in America is close to $500 a month! Is is any wonder that nearly 80 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck? Our savings accounts and emergency funds and retirement funds are sitting in our garages!
So here is what you can do to turn things around and save money on transportation costs:
- Get rid of your car payments and start to buy your cars with cash! (This one thing alone could help you become a millionaire! Woo hoo!)
- Become a one-car family.
- Drive less.
- Save money on gas with apps like GasBuddy.
- Save money on car maintenance and repairs.
- Shop around to get the best deal on your auto insurance.
- Drive the speed limit.
- Wash your car yourself.
Find more than 30 tips for how to save money on transportation costs here.
Save money on housing.
For many families, housing is their single largest expense. But there are also many things that you can do to save money on housing. Here are some of my best tips for saving money on your housing:
- Shop around to see if you can lower your homeowners insurance premiums.
- Look into refinancing your home if interest rates have dropped. (But don’t lengthen the term of your loan! If anything, shorten it!)
- If you are renting, find a cheaper place.
- If you bought too much house, look at downsizing.
- If you really want to save money on housing, consider renting out a spare bedroom (or bedrooms) either long term or on sites like Airbnb and Booking.com.
- Save money on alarm monitoring with inexpensive services like SimpliSafe. (I love SimpliSafe!)
Check out this article for more than 30 ways to save money on housing.
Save money on utilities.
You can pretty drastically reduce your utility bill if you want to. Years ago I heard about a professor of economics who just couldn’t bear to see the money spent on utility costs go down the drain because he knew what that money could grow to if it were invested, and so he kept his AC up and his furnace down, and his family wore sweaters and bundled up during the winter and found ways to stay cool during the summer.
We haven’t gotten that extreme in my family (not yet, anyway :)), but it’s a little tempting! Because I hate spending money on things that have no lasting value, too! Sigh. In any case, here are some free and easy ways that you can save money on your utility bill:
- Turn down (to 62 degrees or lower, if you can) and turn up your AC (to 78 degrees or higher, if you can).
- Wash all of your clothes in cold water. Washing machines are so powerful these days they will still get your clothes clean even with cold water.
- Hang your clothes out to dry.
- Use your dishwasher less. Wait till it is full to run it, and consider using your dish drain and washing the dishes by hand.
- Turn off lights, TVs, computers, radios, nightlights, and so on when they are not in use.
- Unplug appliances and electronics when they are not in use.
- Open your curtains during the day to let in the sun to warm up your house during the winter or keep them closed to keep out the sun to help keep it from heating up too much during the summer.
Save money on clothing and shoes.
Some people just love to buy designer clothes and shoes. And they look really nice! But so does a paid-for beach house in retirement. So we buy most of our clothes, for us and the kids, either on sale or from thrift stores or the classifieds. For now our kiddos are young, so they don’t know the difference (and I hope that even when they are older, they won’t care—and I hope they never do :)).
My sisters and I also swap clothes back and forth for our kiddos that are the same ages, which is awesome! I love to see the clothes that my kiddos wore on my nieces and nephews; it brings back such fun memories! If you have family or friends with kiddos the same age as yours, see if you can set up a kids clothing co-op!
Read this article to learn easy ways to save money on clothes.
Another important way to spend less money on your expenses is to comparison shop—on virtually everything. When I have done this, particularly with larger expenses like fairly major home and auto repairs, the difference in prices I have been quoted has often been pretty drastic!
Get the most bang for your buck by calling several (I usually call at least five) places or checking several stores before making a purchase or spending money on a service like a car, plumbing, or home repair.
Do a no-spend challenge.
Another great way to spend less money is to do a no-spend challenge. I love doing no-spend challenges because they can be a great way to save money fast!
With a no-spend challenge, you can choose to not spend any money for a specified amount of time on a certain budget category. So, for example, you could choose to go six months without spending any money on clothes or shoes.
Or you could choose to go two weeks or a month without spending any money at all on anything besides necessities like basic needed food
Read this article to learn how you can do a no-spend challenge!
5. Look for ways to earn more money to increase your travel savings.
Another important way that you can fund your travel savings account, and do so more quickly, is to find (fun!) ways to earn more money or bring in more cash.
Here are some of my favorite ideas for making more money:
- Work overtime. If you have the opportunity to do so, working overtime is a great way to help you to save money quickly.
- Ask for a raise or promotion. If it’s been a few years since you received a significant raise and you’ve been an exceptional employee at work, make a list of your contributions and your accomplishments, and schedule a meeting with your boss to request a raise or a promotion. Focus on ways that you’ve earned the company money or saved them money. If you learn that a raise or promotion isn’t going to happen right away, ask what specific steps you can take in the next year or two to make it a reality. Read this article for more information on how to seek a raise or promotion.
- Do freelance work. If you work in a field that lends itself to doing freelance work, take advantage of that opportunity to earn extra income to help you save money fast! I have been doing freelance writing and editing since before I graduated from college with my English degree and editing minor, and doing freelance work has not only helped me gain experience in other areas besides what I do for my full-time job but has also at times (when I wanted to give the time to it) brought in significant additional income.
- Do coaching or consulting. Similarly, if you have job experience or a skill that lends itself to coaching or consulting, put that skill to use! Popular areas for consulting include human resource (HR) consultant, public relations (PR) consultant, marketing consultant, business management consultant, and accounting consultant. Popular areas for coaching include financial coaching, job coaching, personal fitness coaching, and leadership coaching. Look for opportunities on indeed.com or your favorite job website.
- Get a (second) job. If one spouse is available to get a second job in the evenings or on Saturday, for example, then this is another great potential way to earn additional income. And if you are a one-income family, or if one of you works only part-time, you might want to consider reentering the workforce or going full-time temporarily in order to save money more quickly.
- Start a side hustle. If you would rather earn money without working another regular job, there are a lot of things you can do to earn a little extra income with a side hustle. Some ideas include starting your own small business where you turn a hobby into a money-maker, being a virtual assistant, or driving for Uber or Lyft. Learn how to start a side hustle and find out about many side hustles that you can explore.
- Start a money-making blog. The potential for significant income is one of the reasons that I started this blog. If you love helping people and enjoy writing, being a blogger might be a great fit for you. In addition to great income potential (check out these amazing income reports of bloggers who make $10,000 to $100,000 or more per month!), there are many other benefits of being a blogger, such as being able to be your own boss and work on your own schedule. Learn how to start a blog for less than $5 a month.
- Earn passive income. Some options for earning passive income are to create a product you have someone sell, write a book, create a money-making podcast or vlog, develop an online course, or participate in affiliate marketing. Read this article to learn more ideas for earning passive income.
- Use rebate apps like Ibotta and Ebates. With rebate services such as Ebates and Ibotta, you can earn money by shopping for things and at places where you would shop anyway. With Ebates, you generally buy items through their website to save up to 40 percent on purchases. It is primarily an online service. Ibotta, on the other hand, is an app you use primarily after you make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores. Because of this, you can actually sign up for and use both apps to save on purchases. Sign up for a free Ebates account here, and sign up for a free Ibotta account here. You can literally sign up for both in just seconds and let the savings start stacking up.
- Sell stuff on eBay or Amazon. If you have a good eye for a bargain, you can buy items at thrift stores or garage sales and sell them for a profit on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or your local online classifieds.
- Sell your clothes to consignment shops. If you’re like most people, you probably have more clothes than you need. So use them to bring in some quick cash!
- Have a garage sale. Declutter and earn money, all at the same time!
Check out this article to learn more about increasing your income!
6. Look for ways to save money on your travel plans.
You will be able to stretch your travel budget—and therefore be able to travel more! woo hoo!—if you will also look for ways to spend less money on the actual travel itself.
For example, to save money on your vacation lodging, check out places like Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, and HomeAway. We have been staying at Airbnb locations for the last four or five years, and it has been great! If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, you should give them a try. I talk about some of the awesome benefits of vacations with Airbnb in my Airbnb review here. To sign up to receive $40 off your first Airbnb stay, sign up here!
By staying at places through Airbnb and services like them, not only can you save money on the accommodations themselves, but because you generally have a kitchen available, you can save a bunch of money by not having to eat out as much. (Or at all, if you choose—on this most recent trip we ate all of our meals at the home where we stayed or as picnics at the parks we visited.) You can also save money if you fly by packing fewer clothes and bringing carry-on luggage if your place has a washer and dryer, as many Airbnb rentals do.
You can also find ways to spend less money on your travel by following these tips:
- Choose locations you can drive to.
- Pack light. 🙂
- Stay with family or friends when possible.
- Share the price of a rental (such as a beach house) with friends or family.
- Price compare to find the best deals using apps like Airfare Watchdog, Priceline, VacationsToGo, Kayak, Hotels.com, and so on.
- Also set up price alerts with sites like the ones mentioned in the bullet above so that you will know when prices drop or when they fall within your budget.
- Go to less popular destinations.
- Travel during the should or off-peak season.
- Stay at less popular hotels and eat at less popular restaurants (try to avoid the tourist traps).
- Look at bundling your flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and so on with sites like Expedia, Kayak, Priceline, and so forth.
- Find deals on entertainment at your travel destination. Check out visitors centers for things like discount tickets.
- Enjoy some free and cheap entertainment at your destination spot.
- If you do not drive, look at using the bus or train to get around.
- Also look at services like Uber and Lyft to save money instead of using taxis.
- Hunt for last-minute deals. You can save a lot of money by looking for deals and planning ahead, but sometimes the very best deals are when hotels, cruise lines, airlines, and so on slash their prices in order to fill their rooms and seats.
- Be flexible if possible on timing and even destination while making your travel plans so that you can take advantage of the best deals.
7. Find ways to stay motivated to reach your money-saving goal.
If you are saving for a fairly big travel goal and need to save up quite a bit of money for your travel fund, consider setting milestones and rewarding yourselves along the way if that will help you to stay motivated and reach your goal.
For example, you might go out for ice cream every time you save $500 or $1,000 toward your travel savings goal. You definitely don’t want to give up and stop saving the money for your travel plans and then put a bunch of travel expenses on your credit card. Not a good idea! 🙂
Just keep working steadily toward your travel savings goal, and you will be there (figuratively and literally!) before you know it!
Final Tip: Are you ready to start saving money on your travel accommodations? Sign up with Airbnb to receive $40 off your first Airbnb stay!
With these top travel savings tips you will be able to save up for and take amazing trips with your family! And you can take those trips with cash rather than relying on credit cards! Your vacations will be more enjoyable when they are not tainted by the stress of having to pay for them for months after the fact in the form of monthly credit card payments.
Have you set up a separate travel savings fund yet? How do you find ways to fund your travel savings account? What are your favorite destinations for cheap and awesome travel? Leave a comment below and let me know! I would love to hear your tips!
Invitation to Share
Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!
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