With the cold grip of winter now here, it’s no surprise if you’ve started to think about a dream getaway somewhere a lot warmer. Whether sipping Mai Tais on a beach or feeling the warm rays of blue skies in Sicily, you may be ready to ditch the winter blues.
Then reality hits, another bill lands in the inbox, and you realise all too clearly that a dream holiday escape is actually just a faraway fantasy.
But is it really out of reach? Probably not as much as you fear.
Here are some practical tips to say ‘sayonara’ to winter and get a lot closer to that idyllic holiday:
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a savings account bursting full of holiday cash.
And just like Rome, it will take time – and dedication. Saving money means putting a little something away whenever you can. A dollar here, ten there, $150 when you can manage it. Just don’t give up. Keep reminding yourself that every cent matters and you WILL reach your goal – even if it means an epic trip on a bit of a budget rather than a spare-no-expense extravaganza.
Pack your lunch
It may sound frivolous, but packing your lunch for work rather than dashing off to the nearest cafe is just an example of the sort of thing that will see you jetting off rather than settling for a ‘staycation’.
Something as simple as buying a loaf of bread for your lunch for the week instead of a cafe Turkish roll every day will actually save you an astronomical amount of money for your trip once it all adds up.
There are plenty of other things you can do too. If you’re used to paying high designer prices for your clothing, why not get by with what you’ve already got or head to a trendy op-shop instead? You might even find you look and feel just as amazing.
Turn off the lights
Ever walked out of a room and not turned off the light behind you? Of course you have! Power is a huge household expense these days and so a smaller number on those bills simply means more money in your holiday account.
You don’t even have to sit in the dark forever. Some people operate household savings policies like ‘two months of nothing’, which involves stopping ALL non-compulsory spending and putting it into a Clover account called ‘Holiday’ instead. You’ll be glad you did.
Dash to a sale
Petrol getting low? Spot a good price? Why not stop now before the ’empty’ light comes on and count the savings in cents per litre.
Going grocery shopping? Grab those coupons and buy brands that are on sale. Write a list and stick to it rather than getting sucked in by what looks delicious or what the kids bug you about. Like power, food is a huge household expense but it’s actually quite easy to count up the savings.
Have sensible extravagances
Like swapping shiny new buys for trendy op-shop picks, just because you’re saving doesn’t mean you have to give up even the finer things in life.
Take a kid’s birthday party. Ok, so you’re used to spoiling them rotten with something like an all-expenses-paid for trip to the zoo but believe us – your child will love a fun party at the house with an epic water balloon fight just as much.
It’s the same for your usual family fun day at home. If you’re all used to heading out for expensive outings like horse rides, ten pin bowling or movies, why not try a board game day, a barbecue or a bike ride? They may be cheap, but here’s a guarantee: they’re just as much fun.
Be smart with your travel bags
At the risk of sounding obsessed with bags, they’re actually a big part of many people’s lives. Plastic, hand or shopping, bags are just handy – but they’re even more handy when you travel. They can almost make or break a trip.
So we understand if you don’t want to just ‘go cheap’ with your travel bags for your dream getaway. Instead, go smart instead and browse the web for reviews to make sure you’re really getting bang for your buck in a crowded marketplace. And here’s a hot tip: consider a rolling backpack instead of an expensive suitcase. Trust us: you won’t regret that choice.
And while you’re online browsing those bags, buy your airline tickets at sale prices and use comparison websites to get cool deals for your hotel and delicious but cheap meal ideas.
Don’t stop investing
Just because you’re saving and budgeting doesn’t mean you can’t keep (or start) investing. In fact, there’s never been a better time!
That’s because you don’t need loads of money in order to invest and build wealth. In fact, you can open a Clover account with as little as $2,500 and contribute as much or as little as you want every month. You’ll see your money grow and do the hard work for you!
Investing is a mindset that will point you in the direction of the future you want – including that dream holiday. Automated investing like Clover doesn’t even lock you in to investing, as you can take your money out whenever you need it. Leave it in, though, and you can be sure your returns are being optimised for whatever risk level you choose.
The final word: Enjoy your trip!
If you save properly for your trip and avoid just whacking it on a credit card, you’ll be sure to party well and be completely relaxed when you come back – not stressed that your money troubles are only just beginning.
So be smart, save well, invest, and tick that dream holiday in the warm sunshine off the bucket list. Good luck!
Julie Williams from MightyGoods has been travelling all over the world despite a limited budget. She believes that it’s possible to travel for much less money than most people believe.
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