Dr. Thomas Gilovich hypothesized that spending money on experiences, not material things, leads to longer-lasting happiness. However, experiences can be just as expensive as that new phone or computer, if not more so. If you’ve been thinking about taking a vacation but are put off by the price tag, the following can help you finance your dream and not break the bank.
Create a Budget
You won’t just need plane tickets, you’re going to have to plan for things like food, lodging and transportation once you get there. Figure out an itinerary of activities beforehand, what expenses those imply, and make the total your savings goal.
You also should create a budget for your current living expenses. What do you need for bills, groceries and other necessary costs? What can you reasonably set aside after those are all taken care of? Consider your vacation fund like another bill you have to pay and make a habit of setting aside money every paycheck. If you need help with that, the following option might be right for you.
Apps like Digit can help out by scheduling automatic deposits. It even already has an in-app option for making a vacation fund. For a lower-tech option, if your employer offers a direct deposit of paychecks, you might want to take them up on it by having your paycheck sent directly to your savings account to put money out of sight, out of mind.
Get a Loan
If you don’t have the time to save up or don’t want to pay out of pocket, a loan is your best solution. Services like MaxLend are available even if you have bad credit, putting financing within reach when it otherwise might not have been.
MaxLend reviews say they’re also helpful for emergencies, so even if you don’t need to take out a loan to go on your vacation, they might be good to keep in mind if a surprise expense comes up while you’re on your trip. Reviews also say that MaxLend gives simple fast loans that are in your bank account within a day or two.
If you’re planning the vacation as part of a celebration like a honeymoon or graduation, you might consider signing up for something like GoFundMe. Instead of presents, ask loved ones to donate to your vacation fund. Links to your fundraiser can be shared on social media and in emails, so even if well-wishers can’t make it to the celebration, they can still offer their support.
If you find yourself paying for things like groceries with a credit card for convenience, look at your rewards options. You might be able to get flyer miles or cash with points earned from transactions.
Challenge yourself to resist buying anything other than necessities, no matter how small. Little things might not seem like they make much of a difference, but they add up over time. For instance, a $2 coffee five times a week is $10. After a month, that’s about $44 saved towards your vacation goal.
It might be hard scrimping and saving, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did it. You may even do it again for another trip!