Plan to spend at least $2000-4000 for your family vacation this summer. Experts say the 2023 cost for a family of four to take a summer vacation is the highest they've seen in years.
There are seemingly unlimited things to do in the summer, from swimming to beach trips to concert festivals. But these activities can be spendy, and totals for summer fun can quickly add up.
Saving up your funds to make the most of your summer vacation is a good goal. It’s best to budget and save throughout the year. If you can find ways to save a couple of dollars or a hundred every week that can go toward your vacation, you’ll be off to a good start.
Tips To Save Money for Summer Vacation
Cook at Home
While the convenience of eating out is attractive on stressful days, this bad habit could kill your summer savings dreams. In the heat of the moment, spending $15 on dinner from McDonald’s doesn’t sound awful.
Still, restaurants tend to significantly mark up their prices to make a profit. According to Money Under 30, a 300% markup is typical, and a $15 takeout meal could be made at home for an estimated $5.
Similarly, packing your lunch for work can help to reduce the temptation to eat out while on the clock. It is a fast-growing market that will continue to skyrocket and exceed 25 million by 2027.
Try a No-Spend Challenge
Speaking of money-saving trends, no-spend challenges are widely gaining popularity on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. The crux of the challenges is to try to spend $0 for most of the month, except for certain allowances on absolute necessities.
According to experts at CNBC, these no-spend challenges are great tools for budget creation because they allow you to focus on what you are okay with not spending on.
Costly habits can add up quickly, but no-spend challenges can help you unlearn them. In this way, trying out a no-spend challenge, even for a month, can help you to save more money going forward in preparation for your summer plans.
Practice Window Shopping
One of the most tricky aspects of saving money is balancing the urge to treat yourself while you’re on a budget. To save money for summer, practice your window shopping skills. Using restraint when shopping is the key to avoiding costly impulse purchases. Instead of buying something when you see it in the store, consider implementing a rule of waiting a day or two before buying.
Another pro tip that can help you save money is to stop purchasing things online. Online retailers are very convincing with their marketing, so forcing yourself to go to the store to buy items can help dissuade you from purchasing them.
Use Coupon Apps
Paper coupons are quickly becoming a savings mechanism of the past, but rewards apps are a great way to save some cash. Store loyalty programs and apps are ways to regularly earn money back while making necessary purchases. Free store loyalty rewards like Target Circle or Kroger Fuel Points Rewards offer exclusive coupons or contribute to savings on essentials like gas.
With rewards apps, finding coupons and purchasing things at a discount is as easy as checking apps before you head to the store.
Utilize Local Public Services
Free and reduced-price public services are a great way to avoid spending unnecessary money. One of the best examples of a public service that instantly saves you cash is renting a book from the library rather than purchasing from a large retailer.
Hardcover and paperback books are quickly rising in cost due to inflation and the cost of materials, but the library’s pricing structure isn’t changing any time soon – it’s free.
Swapping costly Ubers for a cheap bus or light rail pass might not save you time, but it will save you more money for summer fun. In large cities, taking a rideshare can cost you up to $18 more than a bus ticket, according to Bloomberg.
Eliminate Hidden Expenses
Subscription services don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. They make companies too much money in hidden costs and hinging bets on the forgetfulness of subscribers. If your budgeting is particularly bad, you might be unaware of your subscriptions.
From gym memberships to premium streaming services, paying monthly fees adds up. A $30 per month gym subscription costs a whopping $360 a year, which could be the cost of a flight for a summer vacation alone.
Go through this list of common subscriptions and eliminate the ones that aren’t essential or used often. You could save nearly $1,000 annually by reducing your subscription services alone.
Which Savings Tip Will You Implement First?
Summer is right around the corner, so you should try your best to start saving up, even if it’s a couple of bucks. Try at least one of these tips for a month to maximize your summer money. See what you learn from cooking at home, practicing patience when shopping, or signing up for rewards programs. These tips can be used together or individually to make your cash stretch farther than it currently does for the ultimate summer of sun and fun.
This article was produced by The Money Dreamer and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Cindy started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, so she decided to venture out. She took action and decided to learn how to save, budget, and invest while helping others along the way.