Many people dream of taking vacations to Europe, but they don’t know how to afford the overseas travel, hotels, food, and other expenses. Saving for a European vacation may take a few months or years, depending on what you want to do during your travels. Some saving strategies, however, work better than others. Follow these four tips, so you can make your vacation affordable.
Automatically Contribute Money to a Vacation Account
Many banks will let you automatically transfer a specific amount of money from your checking account to a savings account that you can use to pay for your European vacation.
Automatic contributions work well for most people because they don’t feel like they ever owned the money. It’s a psychological trick that makes it easier for you to accumulate savings without feeling the pain of losing a chunk of your paycheck.
Devote any amount that you can afford, so you can start saving for a future vacation. Talk to your bank about setting up automatic transfers. Most have programs that make contributing easy.
Have a Professional Inspect Your HVAC System
HVAC systems can get inefficient over time. The air ducts develop small holes that leak warm and cool air, the blower motor can become too dirty to push air properly, and other parts can start to lose their effectiveness. When these things happen, you will spend more money heating and cooling your home. Having a professional perform maintenance on your HVAC system will help you keep your monthly energy bills affordable.
Regular maintenance can also help you avoid catastrophic repairs that cost a lot of money. If your HVAC system breaks, you could lose a large chunk of your vacation savings.
Instead of losing money, take the cash you save and put it into your savings account, where it can earn a little interest. Every dollar helps!
Work a Part-Time Job to Earn Extra Cash
Image via Flickr by pnoeric
Earning money with a part-time job has never been easier. Hundreds of apps will let you earn small amounts of money for taking photographs, reviewing stores, and performing online tasks. With companies like Lyft and Uber, you get to work when you want. If you have a busy day, then you don’t have to drive. If you’re bored one evening, you can log in and make some extra cash.
Most Uber drivers make between $15 and $20 per hour. The company also offers bonuses and rewards that can add to the amount that you earn. After a couple of months driving, you may have enough money saved to buy a round-trip ticket to your favorite European city.
Eat More Meals at Home
The average meal eaten at a restaurant costs $12.75 per person. Eating at home, however, costs less than $2 per person. Choose to eat more meals at home, so you can put more money into your vacation savings account. You can still go out, just limit the number of times you dine at restaurants.
Changing your spending habits may feel a little painful, but you’ll feel glad that you made those sacrifices when you get to take your dream vacation.