It's that time of year when many of us will be thinking about booking a summer holiday and if we're even contemplating it then one of the first things that we'll need to take into consideration is money. At the end of last year I visited Florida and I spent many, many months saving, especially as Orlando, Florida is one of those holiday destinations where even if you took thousands of dollars it still wouldn't necessarily be enough to do everything that you might want to do. As I've already booked up for 2016 I'm saving once again and that's why I'm sharing some of my top money saving tips with you today.
Hopefully this will come in handy for those of you planning on booking a holiday or trip this summer but it should also be equally relevant for those saving for other expensive expenditures.
Open Up A Dedicated Savings Account
Regardless of what you're saving for, my first tip is to open up a dedicated savings account for it. First of all, I find it helpful to have all of my holiday savings in one place. It makes it really easy to see how much you've saved thus far and how much you still have to go. It also stops you from dipping into your holiday fund for other expenses and in my case, shopping trips. And this tip leads me on to my next top money saving tip;
Set Up A Direct Debit
This is definitely my top tip for saving money and once you've set it up you don't have to worry about physically doing anything and yet the holiday fund will continue to grow. My advice would be to settle on an amount that you won't necessarily miss. Take into consideration how much you have left once you've paid for all your monthly necessities, whatever they may be and then come up with a figure that you can realistically live without that month. For me, I went for £100 a month, taken from the bank account that houses my salary. You'll know what amount works for you. As I said, since you don't have to deposit it yourself every month and it automatically comes off, it just makes saving that much easier and more convenient. To learn more about ISAs and investing (click here).
Sacrifice Your Daily Starbucks/Bottled Water/Weekly Magazines/*Insert Appropriate Little Luxury Here*
Now I'm not saying to you that you can never have a coffee from your favourite coffee shop or that you should stop buying bottled water altogether but if you buy one, or even both of these, on a daily basis then the savings can soon pile up.
Let's say you buy a coffee every day on your way to work. At £3 or £4 a time and since there's about 250 working days a year, there are some big savings to be made. Do some simple calculations (250 x £3 = £750) (250 x £4 = £1000) and you could practically afford to go on holiday with the savings alone. If you're not a coffee drinker just think what other 'little luxuries' you could go without, even just for a couple of months. Maybe you buy three magazines a week every week. Why not cut down to one and save yourself some serious cash. To really get a sense of how much you're saving by doing that, I would really recommend setting aside a jar and physically inserting the money that you would have spent into that jar. This leads me onto my next top money saving tip;
Put Your Change And Your Little Luxury Savings Into A Jar (And Keep Them There)
We've all probably done this at one point in our life. For me, it used to help me save for treats when I was younger. You won't see a massive amount of savings pop up in the jar overnight but if you start popping in your change as well as the money you've saved from not buying your little luxury items that week it will soon start to add up. Try not to dip into your jar as you will obviously be decreasing your savings and it's quite nice to see exactly how much even just your change can accumulate to. Depending on the amount, this can easily go towards your holiday spending money or even pay for your transportation to and from the airport here in the UK.
Consider Flying Indirect
Now this tip comes with a bit of a warning. If you're the kind of person who doesn't want to spend more time than absolutely necessary waiting around at an airport or airports, then this tip will probably not be worth it for you but if you're looking to decrease the price of your plane tickets then this might be the way for you to go about it. It doesn't work for all flight paths and destinations but it's worth looking into just in case. As I've mentioned a few times before, I've visited Florida around ten times in the past and about eight of those times we flew indirect. We flew via Reykavik, Iceland with Icelandair and via Newark, New Jersey with Contintenal. It might cost you some additional time in the air and on the ground waiting around in airports but if you don't mind that then I would certainly consider this option.
Use Comparison Sites
This might sound pretty self explanatory but you can really find some great savings when using comparison sites. Not only can you compare the prices of flights, hotels and package holiday deals but you can also compare travel insurance, car hire, airport parking and travel money.
This is definitely where my inner hoarder comes into play. As a beauty blogger I do tend to accrue more sample sized products than the average individual but just think about all of those free products that you've amassed from the glossy magazines or how many samples you've picked up whilst you've been shopping at your local department store/shopping centre. I have samples to cover all of the products that I don't necessarily want or need to pick up before I board the plane. Don't be afraid to ask at your nearest beauty counter if you can try some samples and by all means pack them to take with you.
It saves you having to purchase travel-sized toiletries to take with you whilst simultaneously clearing some room in your beauty collection. I'm pretty confident that the sample sizes will also allow you to take them as carry on if that works for you.
Have A Clear Out And Get Selling
And whilst you shop your existing beauty sample stash, you may as well have a good old clear out. Just think how much money you have in your home sitting doing nothing and when I say money I mean clothes you've not worn in years, DVDs/books/games gathering dust and unwanted gifts. There are so many different ways of selling your unwanted items now; Ebay, Depop, Vinted and Gumtree to name but a few. Depending on how much you have to sell and how much it sells for this could make a significant dent in paying off your holiday or even give you a nice boost to your spending money.
Watch Out For Excess Baggage Charges
And last but not least, well this isn't necessarily a top tip for saving money for your holiday per se but it is a way to make sure that all your time spent saving doesn't go to waste the moment that you step into the airport. Always check and double check the policies that your individual airline has on both check in and carry on luggage to make sure that you don't fall into the trap of having to upgrade your allowances.
So what are your top tips for saving money? And do you use any of the above tips? What are you saving for at the moment? And would you like to see more of these kinds of blog posts in the future?