With summer approaching, you are probably looking forward to a much-needed vacation. We have a few tips for adding to your travel fund!
Save to a dedicated account
Open a dedicated vacation savings account. One great way to add to your vacation savings is to sign up for automatic deductions from your checking account. Each time you get paid, you can allocate a certain amount of dollars to go straight into this account, but make sure to be realistic about the amount you allocate so you don't need to use these funds until you're ready.
Eat out less
You don't have to eliminate restaurants completely, but making more meals at home is one of the fastest ways to reduce your monthly spending. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Americans spend roughly $8,000 annually on dining out and groceries. Having a weekly menu for cooking at home and sticking to it will save you more money than you realize.
Make your grocery store plan in advance
Plan ahead to limit trips to the grocery store, and stick to your list. Shop from your pantry to make meals using what you already have on hand. Choose store-brand items and fix a meatless meal once a week. Buy produce in season and swap less expensive frozen vegetables/fruits for fresh. Pack a lunch for work. Make your coffee at home.
Start a budget
Saving money begins with analyzing your income and pinpointing your essential monthly expenses. Scroll through your online bank statements and identify areas of spending that you can reduce or eliminate.
Cutback on subscriptions
Online subscriptions like Netflix or Amazon Prime add up. Eliminate subscriptions for a few months knowing you can always re-join. Allocate these funds to your vacation account.
Check your car insurance and cable TV service
Many Americans overpay for car insurance. You might be able to save on your cable TV or cell phone service, too. Call your providers and see if you're eligible for any discounts or promotions. Also, consider getting quotes from other providers who could give you service at a lower cost.
Don't buy what you don't need
Try cutting back on new clothing and beauty products. Know your triggers and eliminate the temptation to impulse buy. Unsubscribe to automatic emails from your favorite retail sites. Keep your eyes on the prize (your fabulous vacation).
Sell things you don't need
Do you have items you could sell on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or in a yard sale? Enlist friends on your street and make it a neighborhood sale. Let your kids earn vacation souvenir money selling unwanted toys or homemade cookies on the day of the sale.
Skip the coffee shop
If good coffee is one of your joys in life, buy a coffee maker and an insulated mug with a vacuum-sealed lid. Look for sales at your grocery store on your favorite coffee flavor. This will save you money over time instead of spending $7 per day at your normal coffee shop, add that $7 to your savings account and brew your own coffee instead!
Pay with cash
Research shows people spend less when paying with cash because you can literally see your money disappearing before your eyes. Give yourself a monthly “allowance” budget in cash and watch how your overspending will disappear.
Saving for a vacation can be part of the fun as you anticipate the great memories you will make on your trip. At Citizens Bank, our main focus has always been our community. We value people and want to see you enjoy your family and friends this summer. For more advice on how to optimize your finances talk to your banker today!