Let’s face the truth; when it comes to budgeting and making the most out of our money, most of us could use all the help they can get.
As numerous studies and surveys have shown that we are notoriously bad at budgeting and we generally don’t save enough.
It’s this lack of a culture of saving for the future as well as poor budgeting skills that often leave many a people feeling like they can’t afford to go away and explore.
But all it really takes to be able to enjoy a much-deserved getaway is a little bit of foresight, planning, and budgeting.
Below are some effective budgeting tips to help you plan and save up for the holidays.
Give Up Those Luxuries
Whether it’s your daily takeaway caffeine fix at your local coffee shop or the sandwich you buy every day from the deli by your office, making minor sacrifices in your day-to-day spending can quickly add up over time.
Let’s look at an example to illustrate the effectiveness of foregoing those unnecessary daily expenses in helping you reach your budgeting and savings goals.
If you spend R20 on coffee every day that would work out to R140 every week and R560 a month spent just on coffee.
Now you might not be able to go away on R560 alone, but if you consider that there are effectively 6 months left of this year, giving up on your daily R20 spend would equate to a saving of about R3 360. That alone could cover the cost of a few nights’ accommodations somewhere out of town or the country.
Budgeting Means Planning Ahead
Planning is key to budgeting and actually making your budget work for you – and not against you. In order to get the most bang for your buck, it’s crucial to start planning as early as possible. This is especially true when it comes to planning a holiday over the festive period.
Because this is peak season, most places will get booked up fairly quickly. It’s therefore always best to plan your holiday as far in advance as possible.
Additionally, make sure you do your research and investigate as many holiday options as possible.
Don’t just opt for the first place you find. Whether it’s looking to find the best (most affordable) seaside resort or renting a space through a service like Airbnb, there are sure to be several options to suit just about everyone’s needs and budget.
Don’t Go It Alone
Another excellent budgeting tip would be to share costs with other people.
Invite some friends and/or family members to join you on your trip and divide all expenses equally amongst yourselves.
Not only will this ultimately leave you paying less for your holiday, but you’ll also probably have more fun spending quality time with those closest to you.
If you don’t know anyone to share travelling costs with, you can solo travel. You never know, you might just land up making a brand new group of friends too and having the time of your life.
Set A Goal And Stick To It
Very often it’s not that people can’t afford to go on holiday, but rather that they didn’t take adequate time and effort in planning their festive break.
As mentioned above planning (from as early on as possible) is key. When it comes to budgeting and planning for a holiday, it’s always best to set a goal for yourself… and stick to it!
Work out exactly what the total costs of the holiday will be (including transport, accommodation, food, spending, etc.), as this will give you a clearly defined target. Knowing exactly how much you’ll need in order to get away is often all you need to kick-start your holiday planning and budgeting.
Remember that a holiday is still a luxury so it’s important to seriously consider whether going away is reasonably within your means or not. If you really can’t afford to go away this year, rather set a plan in motion for next year’s festive season. Your bank balance will thank you!
Download: The 52-week saving plan that will pay four your next holiday