Resorts all over the world are filling up every week with happy travelers, and people have dates circled on their calendars to get out of the office for some much needed rest and relaxation.
Unfortunately, not everyone is headed to their ideal vacation spot this year, though. Tough economic times are keeping many folks from being able to afford their dream trip this year.
But 2013 could be different if you start planning today!
Here are five simple steps to make your dream vacation a reality next year.
1. Make a shopping list and use coupons at the grocery store.
If you’re anything like me, trips to the grocery store come at the worst time: when the fridge is as empty as my stomach. Impulse buys can be the most expensive when picking up necessities for the week. By making a list and using coupons, you could save as much as $20-30 per week at the grocery store.
2. Turn off lights and the TV when you leave for work.
You might not realize it, but leaving lights and the TV on while you’re not home is a huge waste of energy and money. By making sure lights and TVs are off before you leave for work, you could cut as much as 10-15 percent off your electric bill each month. If you’re average bill is $100 per month, that’s an easy $15 saved. Click here for more information about saving energy.
3. Cancel unused memberships/subsciptions.
Most Americans have a membership or subscription that they don’t need or use. Are you paying for a gym membership you aren’t using? Is there a magazine that still shows up every month that you haven’t read in a while? Cancel those memberships and subscriptions, and you could save between $15-50 per month.
4. Pack a lunch once each week
Everyone needs a break in the middle of the day to get away from the office, but it can get expensive. If you spend an average of $8 per meal, that can add up quickly. By approaching your grocery shopping in a more structured way, you can save money at lunch and, sometimes, have a better meal.
5. Check your tires
When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your car’s tires? Low tires leads to lower gas mileage, and could cause a flat. If you drive more than 10 miles to work each day, you could save as much as a half tank of gas per month by making sure your tires are properly inflated. That could be as much as $30 per month!
How do these five simple steps add up?
- Groceries – $20/week – $80/month
- Electricity – $15/month
- Membership/Subscriptions – $30/month
- Lunch – $8/week – $32/month
- Tires – $30/month
- TOTAL – $187/month = $2,244/year
What’s your dream vacation?
The cost of one full week at a four-star resort on the beach in Cancun, Mexico plus airfare for two adults from Chicago this summer is around $1,600 total.
By implementing these five simple steps, you could afford that trip with plenty of spending money next summer.
What are some things you have done in the past to save money for a trip?