What Can Your Money Do For You This Summer?
Save for your vacay the right way
Picture the scene. You’re flicking through Conde Nast Traveller magazine and you spot a feature on a hip new holiday hotspot, with divine daybeds on a white sandy beach where you could happily while away a couple of weeks drinking citrusy cocktails and checking out the surfers. It’s just what you need and you’re annual leave is coming up next month, so you go online to book. You find it costs £500 a night which is more than you have in your entire emergency fund. Drat. You flick sadly over to the Glossier website and cheer yourself up by buying two creams and a new lipstick.
Now, what’s wrong with this picture? Aside from the emotional spending on stuff that could also really make you happy, it’s that you’ve got your holiday finances all mixed up. But fear not, we’re here to help.
If you want to be able to spend on holidays impulsively, it actually takes some planning. And the first step is starting a vacation fund. Think of it as a sub-section of your emergency fund (because we all know that sometimes, we need a week in the sun as a matter of absolute critical urgency, right?). You might feel like your finances are already stretched, but we bet there are some ways you could shave a few pounds off your daily spend. How about these ideas, for starters:
Cancel Netflix or reduce your TV package – just try! There are other ways to re-watch The Crown, you know.
Get a budgeting app on your phone – it’ll take the guesswork out of how much you’ve spent each day, whether you should buy those six sheet masks, and remind you in a fun way how close you are to achieving your goal. Check out YNAB, Emma, Monzo and Yolt.
Can the gym and exercise outdoors – have you seen the results you can get from training with only bodyweight resistance? Plus you might see some nice trees and flowers and stuff.
Start a side hustle – you might not be a master baker or qualified masseur, but we bet you can babysit, walk a dog, or start monetizing your online presence. It can even be fun to work one day a week in a cool bar, gallery or shop, or so we hear. You’re never too old for a Saturday job! And when you’re doing it short-term for a specific goal, you’ll be really motivated.
Aside from actively saving money for a trip, you might consider some more passive (read: earn while sleeping) ways to make travel cheaper:
Use a credit card that gives you travel reward points or air miles.
Be smart with currency exchange when you go away by using a card like Revolut.
Pool your resources by holidaying in a group. Four people in an Airbnb is always going to be cheaper than four separate rooms in a hotel of the same quality.
Plan ahead – yes, you want to be impulsive with some elements of your trip, but at least consider booking flights in advance of the last-minute rush.
Finally, we will leave you with one radical idea: how about you question what a holiday actually means? Does it always have to be a case of flying away to a foreign country with a bag full of expensive new bikinis and sleeping in a slightly too hot or too cold room for a week? Could a holiday in fact be staying at home or with family but doing absolutely no work, taking a break from screens, treating yourself to something delicious every day, and learning a new skill or help out a charity? The idea of the staycation has been around for a while, but it can be way more active and enriching than just sitting in your garden drinking beer and checking facebook instead of going to the office. Check out all the amazing summer courses you can do, and the new ways you could get fit and meet new people like volunteering to work on a beautiful organic farm.
Summer is all about dreaming after all… so sign us up for that!