Just a few more weeks left of summer, and then the kids are back in school and the schedule changes. The fall calendar is probably looking fuller than Zoombezi Bay on River Day.
A vacation before school starts sounds nice. But vacations cost money. How do we get around that?
You probably clicked on this blog looking for some tips to pay for a vacation on a tight budget. I’m going to give you that, but first you have to make a tough decision: Are you willing to put in some hard work for a good vacation?
I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, especially when it comes to rest. The most memorable and enjoyable vacations are the ones where you come back refreshed, recharged, and ready. And the first step in planning a quality vacation is making sure it doesn’t follow you home. AKA, you didn’t use credit to pay for it.
My wife and I decided to pay for our honeymoon up front- 100% paid in full, cash on hand to cover food/gas/souvenirs/etc. The only part of the vacation that followed us home was the memories and some sand from the beach.
Having a quality vacation that is paid for is going to take some hard work. But if you’re ready to follow through, the pay-off is worth it!
Tip #1: Sell Some Stuff!
Look, you and I both know that you have stuff you don’t use in your home. I know because I have shirts I haven’t worn in years, and more furniture than is really necessary for a 1-bedroom apartment. Get some cash quickly by selling it. Facebook Marketplace is great way to unload some of our stuff for cash. The City of Columbus has designated “Internet Purchase Exchange Zones” to make exchanges safer if you’re worried about selling stuff to strangers online. Reach out to family, friends, people you go to church with too – use your network to make some cash. Selling your stuff is a fast way to get some cash on hand for a vacation.
Tip #2: Eat Cheap for a While
Becca and I spent about $350-400 a month on groceries before we made a budget and tracked expenses carefully. We cut our grocery bill in half simply by shopping at Aldi and meal-planning. When we want to save money for something, we adopt the “beans and rice, rice and beans” menu. Stop eating out, plan simple and cheap meals for a month or two, and you can put a few hundred dollars away easy. Say no to nice things now, so you can enjoy really nice things on vacation. Here’s a great resource for cutting back your grocery budget.
Tip #3: Get a (Part-Time) Job!
I totally get that you are pressed for time. But rest is important, and it is okay to splurge for a nice vacation. I want you to have a nice vacation. We always make time for important things. And we can do anything for a short-time. Dig around for some part-time work you can do for a month or two, and save all that money for vacation. Drive Uber, deliver pizzas, babysit for church friends. Find something you can tolerate for a month or two, and you’ll have some decent cash you can use to rest well! The River Job Board lists a lot of part-time options that open up routinely.