Thursday, May 24, 2012

How To Pay For Your Vacations

Aaron and I love to travel: if you have been following my blog for any length of time, you already know that. We are not rich people however, so going on trips can be a little tricky for us in the financial department. How do we do it then, you ask? Here are our tips to help us on our way with smiles on our faces.

Last year I wrote a blog post titled "3 Strategies We Use To Help Pay For Vacations". Check it out, it gives you some great details on the top three things we do to save money - I will outline them here for you.

1. Start A Money Jar. Never spend your change. Use cash whenever you can and always keep the change. We just put $400 in the bank the other day from your years worth of change. Find a penny, pick it up and add it to the booty, it all ads up!

2. Use your credit card for everything else. If you have the option to use a credit card, especially for big ticket items, do. Those frequent flyer miles add up as well. Currently we have well over $500 credit on ours for the last year.

3. Have a vacation savings fund. We have a specific savings account for just vacation and try to put a small amount in there each month. Again, it all adds up.

4. Live the simple life. This is where the priorities come in. If you are really into cars, houses and the latest gadgets, them more power to you. I know several people who feel they need to "keep up appearances" and for them life wouldn't be the same without the i-phone, big screen 3-D television and 40K car in the driveway. That's great, if that's what brings them happiness. It's not for me though, I would rather be out experiencing life instead of working to maintain it. We don't have cable, we have pay as you go cell phones, we own both our cars (and mine is pushing 14 years now), and neither of us have an i-phone or pad (though we would love one and Aaron does have an i-pod.... that he got for Christmas ;o).

The point is, it's all about priorities. If you want to see a few thing, you can, you just have to sacrifice in other areas. We do travel much more now than we did when our kids were young. Paying for two people vs. four is much more doable, and I have a huge issue with traveling to far away places with small children. Why on earth would you take a child to an amazing place that they will never remember? Save the money and wait until they can truly appreciate it..... that's my opinion anyway.

picture taken by 401K

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