You may have noticed that our family enjoys staycations. It’s true. Well, we like vacations of all kinds but that’s besides the point. The point is that staycations cost money and saving it is always a challenge. But, no more my friends! Here are some tried and true ways to save.
1. Save Your Pennies: This may sound silly but yes, you need to save. When I turned 12, my dad opened a savings account for me and half of everything I made went into the bank and I didn’t have access to it until I turned 18. While saving half your paycheck is extreme, the old saying “Pay Yourself First” is true. Hubs and I set up money transfers on the first and 15th of every month to go from our checking account into our savings account. We don’t even have to think about it, USAA does it all for us. Additionally, my entire paycheck goes into savings. If you’re a dual-income family and you don’t need both incomes to sustain your way of life, try putting one straight into savings. You’ll be surprised how quickly money adds up.
2. Ibotta: I use ibotta to save on groceries. It’s like using coupons but the app pays you money. Cold, hard PayPal cash and you can use that for ANYTHING. I’ve made almost $300 and it’s easy money. Buying milk? Get some change. It all adds up and when you cash out, you’ve got real money in the bank.
3. Swagbucks: Swagbucks also offers real money. Get some swagbucks and exchange them for PayPal gift cards. I exchange them for Amazon gift cards though and then I can buy all the stuff we need on our vacation. Diapers, bathing suits, flip flops, you name it. I love swagbucks. It’s also super helpful over the holidays because free Amazon gift cards means my kids will get free Christmas presents. Yay Santa!
4. Book In Advance: If you’re planning a staycation for January, book it now. You’ll save money on the room rate and you’ll have the total dollar amount for the hotel and you’ll have a goal to save for. Sometimes knowing exactly how much you need to save for is easier than just saying “well, I’ll need about….a gazzillion dollars.” Also, look for sales. We just stayed at Aulani at a discount because we stayed during the weekday instead of on a weekend.
So, there are my 4 tips for budgeting for a vacation. The biggest takeaway I have for you is to think of your trip, see how much it’ll cost, and backwards plan to see how much you’ll need to save before the vacation even starts.
What are your favorite vacation budgeting tips?