Whether you’re treating yourself to a weekend getaway or a month-long luxury trip, the chances are that you’ll need to splash a fair bit of cash to make it happen. And because holidays eat into our budgets so much, most of us need to build our bank balance beforehand. Yes, this process can feel like a drag and it might seem like it will never end. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Use the following tips to quickly boost your holiday budget without having to make big sacrifices.
- Check your subscriptions
Starting us off is this big money saving tip that won’t just help us with our holiday budget, but our long-term savings too. Be honest with yourself — when was the last time you actually used your Netflix account? If you’re struggling to answer, that’s a sign that it’s been too long. So it may be worth cancelling that membership, especially now the prices are rising for UK customers. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be forever! If you find yourself craving the content that your streaming provider has put out since you left, you can always go back. But there’s no point of paying £9.99 a month for an account that has been lying dormant for longer than you can remember.
If you’re paying for more than one streaming service, you’re not alone — in fact, over half of us do this. But if you do, it’s time to ask yourself whether you really need them. Because although streaming services are now focussing on original content, a lot of us use them just for the content that they’ve acquired from other networks. So it’s worth checking whether the content you watch is covered by all of your streaming service providers. For example, if you’re a sitcom fan, The Office US, Community and Modern Family are on both Netflix and Amazon Prime. So cut your costs by sticking to just one streaming service.
And don’t forget to make sure that you’re on the best deal too! Some subscription-based services, such as Spotify and Now TV offer cheaper deals for students, so that’s definitely worth checking out. And if you’re the only one who uses your Netflix account, there’s no need to splash out on the premium or even standard plan. I’ve always used the basic plan and it’s worked out fine for me. But if you’re after an even better deal, consider splitting the cost of the premium plan between 3 friends to reduce the price you pay to just £3.50. Just don’t let Netflix know that I gave you this advice — I still haven’t watched Bridgerton!
- Every penny counts
Although it doesn’t always seem like it, small change can add up pretty fast if you put it aside often enough. Take the 1 penny saving challenge for example. In this challenge, you start off by putting just a penny away. The next day put in 2p, then 3p, and so on and so on. One your last day when you put £3.65 away, you’ll have collected an impressive total of £667.95! This can easily cover the cost of a weekend getaway, and it goes a long way to covering larger trips too. To put it in perspective, a return flight from London to Sydney costs around £600. With your savings, you’ll have the flight cost covered, and a bit left over too!
If this challenge doesn’t take your fancy, why not try the Save the Change challenge? The aim is simple: round up every purchase you make to the nearest pound, and put the extra change away in savings. This change can be saved wherever you want. If you prefer the old-fashioned way, keep a savings jar for the spare pennies. But if you prefer to do things digitally, consider downloading an app that will help you reach your goal. Tandem is one of the most popular apps used to round up spare change. It’s completely free, and you can store up to £85,000 there (although if you have this much already, you could probably live without the app!).
Rounding up change from your purchases is a great way to save, and it may work faster than the penny saving challenge, depending on often you make a purchase. For example, it takes over a week before you save 50p in the penny saver challenge, but with the change you could purchase something worth £2.50 on your first day and already be much further ahead. However, the penny saving challenge is a lot more consistent, and you have a guaranteed amount that you’ll walk away with at the end of the year. Whichever method you choose, it’s a great step towards saving for your much deserved getaway.
- Take your time
You may find it tempting to go all in and save as much as you can in a short space of time. But in the long run, all you’re doing is making yourself miserable. Yes, making that dream getaway come around even sooner does sound great, but you still want to be able to enjoy your life in the meantime. Scrimping back completely and not treating yourself to nice things on occasion may make that holiday come sooner, but it really isn’t worth it. You don’t want to waste your time and energy on extreme saving, just to get on the holiday and realise you’re too drained to enjoy any of it. So don’t sprint to the finish line, because you’ll get there eventually. And it’s definitely worth the wait. Plus, a lot of us aren’t going on holiday anytime soon, so why rush it?
As well as taking time with your savings, you should also take time when trying to find the best deals. When booking your holiday, there are so many things to consider. Where are you going? When are you going? Are you getting a package deal or planning the trip yourself? It’s easy to become overwhelmed by it all, so don’t be afraid to take your time to figure it all out. Not only will you get more saved in the meantime, but you’re more likely to get a better deal if you do a thorough search. Good things come to those who wait!
- Hide it away
So you’ve scrimped back on streaming service, rounded up your loose change, and you think that all your saving has finally paid off. And then you check your bank account. Somehow, all of that money that you’ve saved managed to disappear into thin air. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common. Boring life often gets in the way of the things that make life fun. The cost of car problems, broken electronics, house repairs, and other boring life things tend to add up pretty quickly, and the money that you’ve put effort into saving can easily vanish in between pay cheques.
To make sure that you keep your holiday fund safe and untouched, put it into a separate account that’s safe, secure, and can’t be touched. Of course, you could do this with cash if you prefer. But holidays are expensive and having a lot of cash stored in the house isn’t too safe (no matter how well you’ve hidden it!), so it’s best to stick your savings into an online account. The easiest way to go about it is to stick with your current bank. You’ll probably be able to set up a separate savings account with your current bank without too much trouble, and it can be easier to transfer money between the two accounts too. You may even be able to receive interest on your savings if you’re keeping it in the account for long enough. Make sure to do your research to find the best deal for you.
- Don’t spend more than you can afford
As nice as a two week, all-inclusive luxury trip to a far-flung destination sounds, it’s something that a lot of us won’t be able to afford for a long time, if ever. But the good news is that you’ll probably have a good time on your holiday no matter where you go. In fact, some of the cheapest holidays I’ve been on are the ones that I remember the most fondly. So make sure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew by spending thousands that you don’t even have. You’ll only end up broke and unhappy. Yes, the trip itself might be amazing, but it won’t last forever. You don’t want to return from your trip to a pile of debt and money worries. Why not have a domestic holiday to save on transport costs? Or if you love the outdoors, camping is a cheap holiday and fun for all of the family. Whatever you choose, just make sure to relax and have fun. You’ve worked hard to save up for it — you deserve it!
Do you have any money saving tips that you want to share? Let me know in the comments below!