How do you save (or earn) the money for a vacation?
Your Theme Park Insider editor here, asking for some tips from you, the TPI community.
We've covered some basic tips for saving money and finding value on a theme park vacation. But you've got to have money to save money. And that's a trap that keeps many families from taking the vacations that they want.
So what are some of the things that you do to stretch your income, or add to it, so that you have the extra money to set aside for the vacation your family wants? We're looking for tips on relatively easy ways to earn extra cash, simple spending cuts that add up, and realistic ways to save on an average family's income.
Where do you get the money to put away for travel?
I'd like to start another vacation planning series that focuses on the financial planning element of getting ready for travel, and I'm looking for whatever stories, experience, and well-tested personal advice you might be able to offer to your fellow readers on this topic - to get us started.
Thanks in advance,
One thing my wife and I are both doing is saving a certain amount of money each week. Week 1, we both put back $1 each, week 2 $2 each, and so on. Doing this will add up, enough to pay for our next 2 trips to WDW.
On vacation I want to stay in a nice, on-site hotel, do everything we all want to do, eat well, and purchase whatever souvenirs we want. This means that for the rest of the year I am cheap so that when we do go on vacation we can go all out. We save money by not overbuying stuff--we get what we need and that's all. The whole thing requires you to prioritize your wants and needs. Do I need a giant house with a giant price tag? No, I'd rather be able to have a nice vacation each year. Do I need a fancy car to show off to everyone? No, I'd rather send my son to a Catholic elementary school.
I think this is a 2-fold question.
I'm working on a concept that I'm called (at the moment) "value-based spending." The idea is that you should try to get maximum value back for every dollar that you spend.
I have a jar in my bedroom that I empty all of my change into every night and then 3 or 4 times a year my youngest son and I roll it and take it to the bank. You would be amazed at how quickly just the change from your pocket adds up, quicker in Canada with the 1 and 2 dollar coins. We usually deposit $350 to $400 dollars each time we roll the coins. We also have an online account that is dedicated to vacations so if my wife or I have over time that gets transferred from the main account to the vacation account along with the coins. Towards the end of each year I will maxed out the payroll amounts taken from my paycheck for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) and so those amounts will get transferred. Income tax refunds or any unexpected windfall is split between vacations and home renovations as needed.
In the past, I had a job that kept me on the road for 4-5 months out of the year, so I always had adequate hotel reward points to cover the cost of my lodging at either a Marriott or Hilton property whenever I would go on a personal trip. I would also drive to several of my job sites and get reimbursed for the mileage, so that added up to cover the cost of the food and tickets while on vacation. Once in a while, I would take my family with me on my business trips if I was going to a nice location and the job wasn't too long. We managed to have some nice trips to Washington DC and NYC while combining business and pleasure.
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