Saving money can be tough sometimes – why wait until later, when you can spend it now? Especially when it comes to travel, where you might be squirrelling away your coins for months and months to have enough to afford that dream trip?
Here are a few tips to help you get in the right mindset – and actually make it to your savings goal.
When you know how far you have to go, making progress feels a lot easier. So, make a goal of how much you need to save. Now, I don’t want you to just says “700 quid.” I want you to research and get an idea of your destination, so your goal is very specific. “I’m saving up 750 quid so in November we can take our dream ski weekend down to Italy.”
This makes it very real and you can picture that off-piste ski adventure. It also makes it easier if you want to set-up a couple of travel goals.
I loved those cheesy piggy banks – why did they go out of style? Anyway… you don’t need the pink ceramics. You can just set-up a virtual piggy bank. Create a special savings account just for travel funds. (Probably better than stuffing pound notes under your bed – but I’ll leave that judgement call up to you.)
This way you can monitor progress, and money is out of sight. If you want bonus points, set-up an automatic transfer of cash into your funds right after you get your pay-cheque, ensuring you have no excuses.
If you’re going to be saving for a long time – say, a multi-thousand pound trip to New Zealand – then I suggest you set-up for yourself some reward points so you don’t lose momentum. Perhaps if it’s going to be a year, then at the 6 month point you get to reward yourself with some new luggage, a print travel guide, or some gadgets that will be useful for your trip. You’ll buy the stuff you need, but you’ll feel good about getting to do some shopping at the same time.
Ooh, I can hear people breathe in when I say the word accountability. But, it’s not as scary as it sounds. It just means someone else who can check in on you. Not your partner or family, since they have a vested interest in going on the trip – but somebody who is an external party like a friend at work, or one of your besties who can just check in on those savings goals without judging. Ask them to follow-up with you regularly – all it takes is a quick message on Facebook to make sure you’re topping up those funds. I’m all for the guilt factor if it means you get to take that dream trip later this year.
What are your tips for getting into the savings habit?
Photo by bradipo
Posted : Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.