The Christmas holidays are officially over and you’ve returned to the office with a refreshed spring in your step. Yet somehow, you’re already dreaming of your next holiday. ‘Maybe I’ll go to Japan…or Hawaii…or Greece,’ you think, scrolling through the lush Instagram feed of a travel blogger. Then, you glance at your bank balance and realise that unless you win the lotto, you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Of course, you could live on canned tuna and weet-bix for 6 months to fund your wanderlust. But why do that when with a few money hacks (and no huge sacrifices) you could be heading off on your jet-setting adventure before you know it? Yep, believe it or not, it is possible. Read on for our top tips on saving for a holiday with minimal effort.
1. Try the $5 challenge
Chances are, you’ve seen pictures of people holding thick wads of $5 notes on your Facebook feed. While the $5 challenge has only recently gone viral, this saving trick has actually been around for nearly 10 years. The premise is simple: you put away every $5 note that comes into your possession. Pop them in an envelope or jar and don’t count or spend them for a year (or until it’s time for your holiday!) It seems likes a significant amount at the time, but you’d be pleasantly surprised by how quickly it can add up.
2. Put it on layby
Ever used a site like Afterpay to pay off an exxy dress or pair of shoes in more manageable chunks? Turns out you can do the same with your holidays, using a website like LayAway Travel. You just pick your holiday destination, book it in and pay it off in small daily, weekly or monthly instalments before you go. Saving for a trip seems a lot more achievable when you’re only putting away $1 a day!
3. Get a money box
Chances are, you had a piggy bank for saving for a rainy day when you were a kid. There’s no reason you can’t do the same as an adult! Rather than letting your spare coins weigh down your handbag, why not try putting them all in a money box? Then, once it’s full, take it to your local bank and watch your bank balance rise as the coins drop into the money counter. It’s one of the most satisfying feelings in the world! We love this Travel Fund box from Splosh, because it’s a super motivating reminder of what you’re saving for.
4. DIY coffee
Let’s face it: most of us spend WAY too much on coffee. If like me, you often buy two a day, that’s $6 a day which adds up to $30 a week. Over the course of one year, this adds up to $1560: around the cost of a flight from Australia to the US. Pretty scary stuff! While I would never suggest giving up your beloved caffeine, simply making it at home or work can go a long way in helping you effortlessly save your trip! Don’t drink coffee? Maybe you have another luxury (like buying takeaway lunches or bottled water) that you could switch out instead.
5. Automate your saving
The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach can be really valuable when it comes to saving money. Set up a separate savings account dedicated solely to your holiday (call it ‘Fiji fund’ or ‘Coachella cash’, if it helps motivate you!). Then, figure out the maximum amount you can put into that account each pay cycle and organise to have it taken out as soon as your money comes in. So essentially, as far as you’re concerned, the money never existed and therefore you can’t miss it! If you really struggle to control your spending, ask if your employer or a trusted loved one can set it up for you: so you can’t access your savings until it’s time for your holiday.
6. Do the pantry challenge
For one month every week, try the ‘pantry challenge.’ Created by food blogger Jessica from Good Cheap Eats, it involves eating only what you have in your pantry for that stretch of time. Not only is it a relatively painless way to save money, it forces you to get creative in the kitchen and ensures that your pantry doesn’t get too cluttered!
7. Introduce the ‘no present’ rule
Next time a friend or family member asks what you want for your birthday or Christmas, don’t just say “Oh, you don’t have to get me anything!” Thank them for their kind offer and say that if they’d like to get you something, you’d love a small donation towards your holiday. They’ll be pleased about giving you something you’ll actually like and it’ll get you that little bit closer to that dream holiday. Win win!