Wouldn’t it be nice if money grew on trees? If so, I would fertilize that tree day in and day out to find a way to visit every single stop on my bucket list! Alas, that mythical tree has yet to be found. In the meantime, I have just found ways of making what money we do have go further and a few ways to generate some extra income. Some things we have tried were miserable failures, but here are some of the successes we have found!
Know your spending weaknesses. Would you fare better by shopping and paying in cash? If you know yourself, and know you would just hand over the debit card after going over, then this may not work for you. If you are the individual that does better knowing you have what you have in your hands and when it’s gone, you’ve maxed your budget for groceries, then paying in cash is an excellent plan! To build up your vacation fund, put whatever unspent funds back into your vacation fund.
Option B would be to order your groceries online and pick them up. This helps to avoid impulse purchases. Wal-Mart now offers grocery pickup. You add and pay for your groceries on their website or through their smart phone app. You may add items to your cart as you run out of them. Think of this as a working grocery list! When you are finished, you schedule a pick up time at your local store. They load the groceries and you are on your way without ever stepping foot in the store!
Consider shopping at Aldi for the basics. They have rock bottom prices for quality products. Who doesn’t love that?
Eat breakfast for dinner one night a week for dinner. Breakfast has inexpensive sources of protein. My children love nothing more than getting to eat their favorite breakfast treats for dinner! It has become a fun family tradition.
You probably won’t notice a degree or two difference on your thermostat but your bill will!
We strive to involve our children in vacation planning AND saving. Since they have a say in where we go, they become enthusiastic about helping us make that plan a reality. If your children are anything like mine, then they have far too many toys. We let them help weed through their toys and sell them either on Craigslist, Ebay, or through consignment sales. The money then gets divided between them and our vacation fund.
Mow your own grass. I know. We don’t like to either. It sure adds up though!
Skip the house cleaner, and pay your own children to help. We let the kids keep half, and the other half goes into the vacation fund.
Bring your lunch and limit dining out. Stock those impulse meals at home, like pizza and wings.
Trade babysitting services with a friend instead of hiring a babysitter. If this isn’t an option, try having a date night in.
When asked what you would like for Christmas, ask for Groupon bucks, Disney gift cards, or other travel related items. If family is a stickler for things that need to be wrapped, ask for things you are planning on buying and then put the money you would have spent in your travel savings account.
Contemplate giving the kids one or two small gifts for the holidays and gift them a vacation instead!
So “no” more often. Deciding to not impulse purchase or splurge on that sixth purse that only goes with one outfit is empowering! It also gets you one step closer to that dream destination!
Find a discount movie theater! You may have to wait a little longer to watch that movie you are dying to see, but you will still get the movie theater experience.
Consider renting a larger villa and vacationing with friends.
If dining costs cause your vacation budget to increase significantly, consider an all-inclusive resort. These resorts are popular in the Caribbean.
Consider a side gig where you babysit once a month on a Friday or Saturday night.
There is no shame in this. The vacation is completely worth it!
See about possibly working overtime here and there to put towards the family’s vacation fund.
No matter your salary, every penny saved counts. It is one step closer towards a new adventure. Whether that vacation costs two hundred dollars or two thousand, you will be proud of yourself when your hard work pays off in the form of memories that will last a lifetime!