Why should a dream trip be a fantasy? Why shouldn’t you be able to take that once in a lifetime trip not just once but multiple times? The good news is that as frustrating as this can seem at times, the truth is that there are many ways to turn dream into reality and make your bucket-list item a real life holiday that you will never forget!
1) Set a Realistic Plan
It’s easy to write down that you want to save up for the most exclusive luxury resort in Switzerland where one night costs $100,000. However if you’re on a blue collar salary you’re not going to reach that goal. What are the actual experiences you want? If it’s skiing there are still great resorts across the continent or even in others that offer amazing outdoor experiences and Going Luxury hotels that will feel like incredible luxury at much lower prices.
If you are an experience-oriented individual you’ll often find there are expensive versions of virtually any experience and cheaper ones that are just as good. When you have a general number divide by months until your goal date and then you know how much you have to earn/budget in solid terms.
2) Make This Your First Bill Every Check
Money just disappears if you let bills dictate your spending. If you work to make sure you save a bit out of each paycheque immediately. If you make this a habit, you’ll find a way to cover the other bills. Lifestyle creep is a real thing – there’s money there to budget and save.
3) Pick Up a Side Hustle Hobby
One truth about today’s online world is that online work very rarely equates to a full-time job worth of income however there are many different hobbies both on and offline that there’s a demand for. Think of a skill you’re interested learning, or an activity you enjoy that can also turn into money on the side. Writing, woodwork, gardening for a farmer’s market, tutoring online – there are so many ways to turn a hobby or side job into an income stream.
By making it something you enjoy or want to learn, it’s like having a great hobby that just happens to help pay for future vacations, as well.
4) Open an Online Savings Account
Online savings accounts have massively better rates than what brick and mortar banks offer. Get rid of the .02% interest rate accounts for 2-3% interest rates. Yeah that’s not much, but as you’re saving, it’s free money. A free dinner in Paris, a free night in a country cottage – every little bit certainly counts.
5) Make Saving as Painless as Possible
There are many accounts that let you automatically set up payments as soon as you have a deposit, and cell phone apps that allow you to save automatically. Some automatically take out of a paycheque, some out of every deposit, and then there are those that round up purchases to the nearest dollar and put the extra amount in a savings account of your choice.
This automates the savings process and makes it as painless as possible.
6) Kill Impulse Spending
This is pretty self-explanatory but it’s a crucial part of getting that vacation fund. Put off those impulse buys and even consider conditioning yourself into putting that amount of money the buy would cost straight into a savings account instead.
7) Rewards Credit Cards
Pay off the balance in full each month. You’ll still earn the travel points without having to pay the interest and if you are out with friends and need to split a check, use your card for the points and have them just pay you back by cash or app to reap double the benefits without taking advantage of anyone.
People don’t haggle enough. You would be amazed at how many things you can negotiate from getting fees waived on a late bill pay to lowering credit card rates to even the prices at certain sales. There are even some cases where you can haggle on sales with big box stores, giving yourself even more savings.
9) Track Progress
There’s something about tracking progress that can really get you fired up. A spreadsheet can be your friend as you track travel points, special savings accounts, general checking account. Have those numbers keep going up and that helps you get excited about the momentum you’re already building up.