Seven savvy tips to jump start a summer vacation fund

Jan 16, 2013 | Personal

While it may be hard to get into a “vacation state of mind” during the dead of winter, there’s no better time than now to start saving for a summer trip.
If your dream destination is a debt-free paradise, start with these helpful tips: 

  1. Establish a budget. Know how much you’ll need to do everything you want to do as a family this summer. Make sure all your bases are covered, taking into account everything from gas, airfare, car rentals and transfers to meals, gratuities, souvenirs and tour or entrance fees.
  2. Setting up a separate “vacation savings” account. We have several types of savings accounts to fit your needs.
  3. Make it automatic. After you’ve set a budget (see above), you can calculate how much you need to save each month, based out of how many months you have between now and the date you leave. Program an automatic transfer from each paycheck, or an electronic deposit from your primary bank account to fund this stash.
  4. Use your tax refund. Although it’s not usually anyone’s goal to overpay their taxes throughout the year, if you happen to receive a tax refund this spring, this is “easy money” that will help you reach your savings goals more quickly.
  5. “Giving up” over the short-term. Don’t think of this so much as a sacrifice, but the little, incremental actions that can add up to a big trip and big fun. Some of these small actions may include: buying a latte one less time each week, carpooling to work to save on gas money, and skipping lunches out and brown-bagging it at least once a week between now and summer.
  6. Saving your change. You’d be surprised how much this can add up. Set a “vacation jar,” labeled as such, in a prominent place – like the kitchen counter or on the mantle. Each member of the family can then see this representation of the “vacation goal,” and deposit their extra change into the jar at the end of the day. You could even turn this into a game or friendly competition to get the kids involved with saving (with the added benefit that they’ll be picking up some great financial literacy skills along the way!).
  7. Use your rewards. If you use a credit card that offers airline miles or cash back rewards, why not take advantage of those benefits?

Get your vacation savings off to a sizzling start this frigid winter, and call us now to set up your new savings account!