This post is brought to you by Acorn Influence. All opinions are 100% my own.
Planning a vacation for a large family can be overwhelming when you see the price tag. Our family cherishes each trip we take. Not only do I have the travel bug, but my children love the life experiences our vacations offer them. This year I have decided to be more aware of our budget and track where each dollar goes so we can save for another week long cruise. See my tips on how to save money for vacation.
How to Save Money for Vacation
Create a Budget
To start, you need a budget. Even with the tightest budgets there is always a way to find money to save. I was recently introduced to EveryDollar. The mission behind this budgeting tool is to track and budget every dollar you spend and receive.
example of website program – not my personal budget
You can download the free app from your mobile phone or simply use the tool in your web browser on your computer. You can setup your monthly budget in a few minutes! It is so easy to use.
Not only do I love the ease of using this app on my iPhone, but I also love the aesthetics of it. It is no secret that my favorite color is green, but did you know that shades of green and blue are known to be calming? The app looks clean and the colors are pleasing when you are budgeting every dollar you spend.
There are months that I need something to calm me after I see how much we spent, like right after Christmas shopping for five kids!
actual screenshot from my phone
My favorite part of using EveryDollar is the option to track savings. Instead of going to the bank and opening a separate savings account just for our vacation, I can leave the money in my checking account without ‘accidentally‘ spending it. Since the EveryDollar mobile app syncs with my online account, I can always know where each dollar is allotted at any given time. I can add my husband to my EveryDollar account and even sync my bank account directly with the budgeting tool!
Even if I only plan to save $300 this month towards our upcoming cruise, I can always add more to it. Let’s say I decide to take on a side project at work and make an extra $100, I add that into the app by the date received and it will automatically update my balance.
Since I work as a blogger and consultant, I get paid net 30-60 days from work completion, my income fluctuates each month. I created my monthly budget based on what I earned the previous month. This way I’m never guessing and going over budget.
By tracking every dollar I spend throughout the month I can easily find areas that I can save. Stopped at Sonic for a quick breakfast burrito? Skip that and add the $3 to your travel fund!
Even if you have never been one to keep a budget, there is no need to feel overwhelmed when starting with EveryDollar. It is useful for those that barely scrape by paycheck to paycheck and those that have a built up emergency fund. By seeing the budget clearly marked, you will be able to create an action plan to make it better.
Don’t feel like you have to save for the entire vacation alone. Get the whole family involved! Let the kids help plan the dream trip you want to take this summer and remind them you are saving each day to make it happen. Encourage them to help add coins to a bank on a shelf so they can watch it grow. When they ask for a new video-game or ice cream, tell them about the perks they will enjoy on that trip you are saving for. Let the excitement build into action.
Find Items to Sell
I’m sure you have heard the popular travel quote:
“Fill your life with adventures, not things.”
If you are on a tight budget and feeling defeated about finding a way to get ahead, take a look around your house, your garage and closets. I bet there are items waiting to be cleared out. Try your local community Facebook groups, a garage sale or even resale shops. Take all the money earned from the unwanted items and put it in your travel savings fund.
I challenge you to try the EveryDollar budgeting method and find where you can save money for your next family vacation!