Going on vacation has numerous benefits. Working 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year can lead to burnout if you don’t get a break. The mental health benefits of taking vacations and vacation time have been proven time and time again. It makes you less stressed and ultimately a better employee if you get some time away and off the clock.
Sometimes it’s hard trying to figure out the best way to fund a trip. This is especially true if you want to head out on a more expensive adventure. You can use one of these methods to help you fund your next trip, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to save up for it.
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Home Equity Loan
If you are taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip with a high price tag, you may want to consider a home equity loan. Getting the equity out of your house usually has the best interest rates of any lending option. Sure, you could take out a personal loan to go on vacation, but the terms of those loans and the interest rates are usually not very good.
Plus, you typically need a great credit score to qualify. Although, you can use house equity with a low credit score to get the cash you need to take a trip. Other uses of equity could be to make home improvements or pay off medical bills.
If you plan on taking out a home equity loan, it would be wise to have a plan for repayment. Check out my simple financial planner, available for $3.99.
Leverage Your Credit Card Cash Back
Many people strategically use their credit card mileage points or cashback to help pay for things like vacations. They put all their bills on the card and then pay them off at the end of the month.
This option is great because you’re spending money you would spend already, and you can earn rewards, points, and money by doing it. And when you pay off the card each month, you never pay any interest on those expenses.
Mr. Misadventures and I have a Southwest Visa and Delta and Bonvoy American Expresses for precisely this reason!
Try One of These Side Gigs
Another way to accelerate your travel plans and go on vacation sooner is to add a side gig to your life. Some options help you make hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month with very little time input. While DoorDash, Uber, and other contract gigs are easy to get, you’d benefit even more from jobs that use your skills on the side. Graphic design, web design, app development, writing, e-commerce, Amazon FBA, and even dog sitting or dog walking can earn you a decent side income.
Getting started may require taking a course or learning tips from other sellers. Also, if you have a bachelor’s degree and don’t mind working odd hours, you could qualify for teaching ESL classes to kids overseas.
Use Automatic Deposits to Your Savings
Saving can be hard if the money just sits in your checking account. Try having money automatically put into a different account each time you get paid. This strategy for funding your vacation plans help you put your money out of sight and out of mind.
Some banks will allow you to set up recurring withdrawals to a savings account and some employers let you designate more than one location for your direct deposits. No matter which option you choose, make sure you put your travel money in a place that you don’t access daily.
Another method that is popular is the “envelope budget system.” This system allows you to portion out your monthly income toward different spending categories in actual physical envelopes. I really LOVE this colorful Clever Fox system!
Cash Out Some Vacation Time
Employers each have unique policies around vacation time and PTO. If you save up too many days, most of them stop letting you accumulate more unless you take some time off. These employers will often allow their employees to cash out some of those days.
If your work allows this, cash-out part of your vacation time so you can fund your next trip, then put in a request for the days you want off. You’ll be amazed at how nice it feels to simply have the money you need when you need it to go on vacation.
Going on vacation isn’t just a luxury, for some, it’s a critical part of caring for their mental health. You’ll find yourself feeling less stressed and overwhelmed when you prioritize taking time off and visiting new places. Plus, not all trips have to cost a fortune.
There are so many deals that might get you an incredible vacation for under $1000 per person including airfare. Be flexible about where you want to go and you can almost always find something to fit into your budget.
How about you? Have any tips for saving money for vacations? Do share!
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