7/07/2010

Last Minute Vacation Savings

As America celebrates its independence and your friends are off on vacation, you may be wondering how you can afford a last-minute summer getaway. If you start saving today and make minimal adjustments to your lifestyle, you can afford a getaway by Labor Day.

Step 1- Figure out your goal & save automatically. If you save $5 a day from now until Labor Day, you can save $300 towards your weekend getaway. Double-that and you’ll have over $600 towards your vacation. By joining Virginia Saves, you can utilize the America Saves My Savings Tracker for free to record deposits and monitor your progress towards your vacation. Have a portion of your paycheck transferred automatically from your checking to savings account.

Step 2 – Find ways to cut back for even more savings. Saving $5 or $10 daily seems like a difficult task, but it’s easy when you examine where your money is currently going. Without a budget and savings plan, we all have a tendency to overspend. Here are quick ways to add more to your savings:


•Bring your lunch, snacks, and beverages from home. Avoiding to-go lunches and vending machines can easily save you $5-10 each day.
•Institute a “no spend” day or take a moratorium on buying non-essentials like books or the latest fashions.
•Sell gently used clothing, electronics, and other items through local consignment stores, online, or by hosting a garage sale. It’s a great way to de-clutter and add to your savings.
•Cancel cable and other non-essential subscription services for the summer. Check out your local library for free books and DVDs.

Step 3 – Save even more on your Labor Day getaway. One of the benefits of last-minute travel is the potential to score good deals. Check out a guidebook for your vacation destination for low-budget recommendations for food, activities, and accommodations. For further savings:


•Bring your own snacks and meals for the car ride rather than relying on fast food. Eat at low-budget restaurants whenever possible.
•Choose a place to stay that has a kitchen, so you don’t have to go out to eat as often.
•Check out online travel websites to book discounted flights and hotel rooms.
•Ask for discounts! If you’re a student or in the military, discounts are available pretty much anywhere. Many hotels also offer discounts to AAA members or government employees.


This post is part of the Virginia Saves Kick Start Your Savings Summer. Each week we'll focus on saving for a particular savings goal or how to save on everyday expenditures.
To kick start your own savings click here.

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