Saving Up for the Summer Holiday
Who can afford to just leave everything and go on a summer holiday these days? Even though it's a novel idea, the budget for most of us simply doesn't allow vacations without sufficient planning and saving. You might even be thinking that your budget doesn't allow holidays period. The truth is you can, and even though it could take a little longer for some, with basic saving strategies in place money can accumulate.
Set Up a Bank Account or Jar
This is the tried and tested way to save some money. With a special bank account or even a glass jar specifically set aside for saving you are preparing yourself mentally. It doesn't really matter how much money you put in there as long as it stays there. If you want to speed up the process then get both. Use the bank account for money you can spare from your paycheck and the jar for extra change you won't be needing.
Assuming you've set up the jar, don't put too much pressure on yourself. Start by placing $1 in the jar every day for the first week. The second week throw in $2 and the third week throw in $3. By matching the number of the week with the amount you put into the jar every day will become quite a substantial amount over time.
Take a good hard look at what you buy on a daily basis. How many items fall into the "luxury" category? This can be anything from candy, a Starbucks coffee and piece of cake or a magazine. In essence you want to eliminate items that aren't really necessary and using that money towards the summer holiday you are dreaming about. Keep in mind that eliminating these items doesn't have to be permanent, but you might discover that you could use that money for something more constructive.
Coupons and Promo Codes
If you haven't seen shows like "Extreme Couponing" then now is a good time to start. Thanks to promo codes and coupons you are able to save loads of money without having to starve yourself. This is one of the best ways you can save without having to curb your normal spending, in other words, a win-win situation. Follow tips from websites like DiscounTrue and you'll be on your way to becoming a coupon expert. After you start you will probably never stop using them.
Set a Goal and Time-Frame
We all need to aspire to something and the best way to motivate yourself is by setting a goal and a time-frame in which that goal can be reached. It's important that you don't set a goal that is out of reach. Keep it realistic and if you manage to save a little extra then great, but you will only disappoint yourself if you want to save $1000 in the first week.
Get the Family Involved
Don't be shy to ask the rest of the family to help out, seeing as they will be going on vacation too. Making it a family effort will definitely increase motivation in addition to saving more money. Just make sure that extra money doesn't stay in your pocket. If you go to the store only take the necessary amount in order to restrain yourself from buying something unnecessary. In the beginning it might be hard, but watching the money pile up will make it worth the while and a lot easier.