Before you know it spring will be here. The start of spring means a few things to me – warmer temps, flowers, later sunsets, the end of the school coming soon, and of course SUMMER VACATION. With summer vacation, comes the need for funds to pay for said vacation. In comes Vacation Savings Club to save the day! Sorry I get a bit silly sometimes 🙂
Similar to how I structure all my savings plans, (check out my Christmas Savings Club) I started a separate Money Market Account (MMA) labeled Vacation Savings Club. In case you have never hear of a MMA, it is just a specific type of savings account, called a Money Market Account. It is semi-liquid as it has a limit on withdrawals of 6 per month and like a savings account it pays interest. This type of account is perfect to hold funds you will need in a year or less.
MMAs will pay anywhere from 1.75% – 2.45% interest, you will have to do some research and see what the requirements are for each rate to find the best. There are several good sites to research accounts – NerdWallet, Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and Bankrate are a few. Or you can do a good old-fashioned Google search to see what comes up. I found a rate of 2.45% from CIT Bank with a minimum opening amount of $100 (as of 1/19/19, subject to change of course). That is pretty good!
Why Set Up a Vacation Savings Account
Everyone needs down time and a vacation fits the bill perfectly. In a country where many people do not take any vacation each year, it is no wonder everyone feels so stressed out from overwork and not getting a chance to unplug for a bit.
For many people I know, the issue is lack of funds, so they just skip going on vacation all together. That is NOT a good idea. If you cannot afford to leave, try a staycation, which means you take time off work but visit local attractions and save for a vacation in the future.
Without a budget specially made for vacation, my family would not be able to enjoy time off either, so I get where you are coming from. With a Vacation Savings account I do not have to go into debt to go on a much needed vacation. I feel less stress about taking time off, since I have funds to cover it.
Finding Room in Your Budget
If you are anything like I used to be, you might be reading this now and saying to yourself, a vacation savings account sounds great Sara, but where am I going to get these magical funds from?
There are only two ways to do it:
- One spend less in another category.
- Two find a way to make extra income.
I find cutting costs can be a quicker choice for extra funds now versus picking up a side hustle that may not bear fruit right away. I, blend the methods to cover any gaps in my budget. If you are not sure how to complete a budget, check out Budgeting 101. It is a simple no-nonsense way to learn how to start budgeting. Having a budget is KEY to saving money, so if you do not have one currently, please check that post out first.
Here are some easy ideas to implement to jump start saving for vacation.
- Open a separate savings account, this was discussed above and I recommend setting up automatic transfers. Setting it and forgetting it works.
- If you received a tax refund, put a portion of it to good use and start your Vacation Savings off right.
- De-Clutter your home and sell the items on Ebay, LetitGo, etc.
- Pack your lunch until vacation.
- Skip buying coffee out.
- Meal Plan to Save money. The Grocery budget is usually the largest flexible spending budget a family has.
- Have a No Spend Weekend and divert the funds you would have spent to your Vacation Savings
There are many more ideas on how to either make money or cut spending to cover an awesome vacation. These are just a few to get you started.
Vacation Savings Club Worksheets
Now if you are ready to get started on saving for your dream vacation. Here you can find the simple to use Vacation Savings Club Worksheets. There are three different choices. The first, which is 14 weeks long, assumes you start this week and vacation in August. The next, which is 24 weeks long, assumes you start this week and vacation in October (works awesome for family’s with young kids not in school, and you can save a TON since it is not the high season). The last, which is 48 weeks long, is meant to be used to start saving for next year’s vacation. If you start now you will have to put less in each month to cover the same vacation!!
Vacation Saving Club worksheet- 14 Week Plan
Vacation Saving Club worksheet – 24 Week Plan
Vacation Saving Club worksheet- 48 Week Plan
Then if you have anything left over you can either divert it to another savings account you have or keep if for next year’s Vacation Savings Club. I take half of what is left and place it into my car or home savings accounts and leave the rest for the Vacation Savings Club. If you are wanting to take a bigger trip that is more costly, then I would recommend you roll over 100% of funds for next year.
It could not be easier! Think of how nice it would be to have the funds already when you book your next trip!