Top 5 Proven Tips to Help You Budget for Your Next Vacation
Top 5 Proven Tips to Help You Budget for Your Next Vacation
We all know travelling can get very expensive, very quick, but that shouldn’t stop you. You can go on your next trip within the next 12 months if you properly budget and plan, and if you are looking for advice on how to make a budget, you have come to the right place.
That’s why I put together a list of five proven tips to make budgeting for your next trip a much easier task.
Top 5 Travel Budget Tips
1. Set a Goal
What is your goal? Is it to visit Dubai? Backpacking in France? No matter what your goal is, it’s important to recognize it. There has to be a finish line at the end of the race, and the goal you set yourself is your finish line, after the tough race of not spending money on unnecessary things. I know, I know, giving up some of your favorite guilty pleasures sounds torturous; but when you’re sitting on the coast of Venice drinking $200 wine, those guilty pleasures seem a lot less important.
My advice on writing out a clear goal is simple: word it as if you’ve already done it.
For example: “I SAVED $1500 and took a week-long trip to Venice, Italy.”
This allows you to think of it over and over, until the day comes for you to get on the plane. You did it, you said you would, and you did. Great feeling right?
So we have a goal, now we need to take steps into make that goal a reality. This is where prioritization comes into play.
Where do your priorities lie? The fact that you are reading this article gives me the intuition that travelling may be high up on your list of priorities. And that’s great. But to bring that thought, that idea into fruition is a much harder task. The second step in your journey to go on your dream vacation is to prioritize what you spend your money on.
Take a look at your bank statements. Where is your money going? Are you eating out almost everyday? Partying twice a month? And it’s great to go out and have fun, but are those things more important than your goal of travelling and seeing the world?
Sit down and decide what you truly want. Remember, money can be made back, but time can’t. How do you want to spend your time?
3. Pay Yourself
All this isn’t going to happen overnight, but paying yourself is a great third step! What do I mean by paying yourself? I mean that after all of your necessary bills are taken care of, whatever money is left over, put a portion into a specific fund for your travelling desires.
I do this every paycheck. I get paid on the 1st and the 15th of every month. And it has gotten to the point where pulling money for my travel fund is considered a necessary expense.
Every paycheck, I pull $60 in cash from an ATM and put it into a little sandwich baggie and don’t look at it until next payday.
Since I get paid every 1st and 15th, I get paid 24 times a year. $60 x 24 times a year leaves me with $1,440 at the end of the 12 months. Creatively booking trips makes this $1,400 go further than you’d think. Now, if I were to get paid every two weeks, I’d get 26 paychecks a year, which would give me $1,560 per year.
I know when I used to eat out a lot, and party, I could easily blow through $120 a month. Cutting out these two expenses was an easy choice once I realized what that money could really buy.
You don’t need to follow this exactly, adjust the $60 figure to whatever works best for you. Whether it’s $5 or $500 per paycheck, anything is better than nothing, and anything gets you closer to your goal.
4. Stick to Your Budget
Now that you have set a goal, prioritized, and set yourself a good budget that works for you, the next step is to stick to it. This is the hardest part, trust me I know. However, when you start seeing your money stacking up, the butterflies do set in, and it is motivating.
So, how do you keep your budget? Short answer: discipline. But it isn’t always that easy. Things always, always come up. Just recently I had a nail go through the sidewall of my tire. That wasn’t the cheapest thing to fix. You know what happened a couple weeks later? Another nail through another tire. Thank you San Antonio construction. This is just one example, life happens fast, and these emergency, unforeseen circumstances take precedence over travelling.
That’s another benefit of establishing this travel fund. It provides an additional safety net in the case that something happens and you need the extra money.
Nonetheless, the most important thing, by far, is to not get discouraged. Whether you get hit by life and need to dip into funds, or you are getting impatient because it’s taking so long, please don’t get discouraged. Stay true to the course, and the reward at the finish line will be so much sweeter!
5. Stay Reminded
This goes hand-in-hand with step four. Continue to remind yourself why you are saving, what your goals are.
For example: I like to set my desktop background, or my phone background, to a picture of wherever I want to go. This way, I am constantly reminded of what I want.
I envision myself: toes in the sand, piña colada in hand from sun up to sun down, just enjoying life. That vision alone re-motivates me to continue my budget and see this project through to the end.
In conclusion, everything starts with an idea. Proper budgeting tactics are what helps you see through to accomplishing your goal.
If you don’t have a specific place in mind that you want to see, I’d recommend researching cheap places to travel. This will give you an idea of places to see for an affordable price.
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