Stack up your vacation fund while making the most of the fall season this year
As we bid farewell to summer and welcome the crisp, colorful days of fall, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the season. From hay rides to haunted houses, you want to do it all. But, if you have a vacation—or, really any big purchase—you’ve been saving up for, the season’s to-dos may distract you from your larger goals. Let’s talk about some ways that you can make the most of your fall while strategically saving for your upcoming adventure.
Embrace The Fall Cooking Crazes
Fall brings with it a cornucopia of seasonal ingredients and produce—pumpkin, squash, cranberry, and so much more. What better way to save money than by embracing your inner chef and cooking at home this fall?
Cooking at home saves you a bundle compared to going out, but it also gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with delicious fall flavors. Whip up some hearty soups, pumpkin sweets, apple-inspired dishes, and anything else you can think up. Use this season’s harvest to get creative with your meals. Your taste buds and your wallet will thank you.
Declutter And Sell Your Stuff
Just as the fall leaves change, your needs do, too. Take some time this fall to declutter and get rid of some of the stuff you don’t use or need. Here are some of the areas around your house that could probably use some decluttering:
- Your wardrobe
- Linen closets
- Kids bedrooms
- Your bedroom
- Storage areas
- Craft rooms
Go through these areas and gather any items you no longer need. If you have any items that you may be able to resell, list those items online. Or, if you think you have enough, host a garage sale to see if you can make any extra cash. Anything you make can go directly to your vacation fund.
Be sure to donate any usable items you aren’t able to sell, and safely dispose of anything that can’t be donated.
Review And Adjust Your Budget
It’s difficult to save money if you don’t know where you’re spending your money to begin with. As you welcome a new season and look ahead to your dream vacation, you need to take a look at your budget and identify the changes you need to make to find a bit of breathing room in your finances.
Review your monthly expenses and note any areas where you and your family can cut back. After you’ve thoroughly reviewed your budget, create a revised budget that reflects your financial priorities. Contribute any additional savings toward your vacation fund and watch it thrive!
Open A Savings Account
One of the best ways to make saving for your summer vacation effortless is to open a dedicated savings account intended to only hold the money for your upcoming trip. This helps you separate your vacation fund from your everyday expenses. You’ll be able to review it—and watch it grow—much easier in a separate account, and it’ll help you resist the urge to spend it.
You can set up automatic transfers from your checking account so that you are regularly contributing to your vacation fund. Or, just simply make a manual one-off transfer or deposit when you’re ready.
Find The Best Rates For Your Services
As you try to make the most of your fall savings, don’t forget to look into your rates for some of your bills and expenses, like your cell phone bill, car insurance, and other essentials you need. In some cases, you can negotiate your rates with your service providers, and in others, you may need to shop around. Here are some expenses you should explore:
- Cell phone and internet bills – Review your cell phone and internet plans to see if you are getting the best value for your money. Look for plans from your provider’s competitors or promotions your current provider is offering that may fit your needs. Talk to a customer service representative and see if you can use these other plans and promotions to get a better rate.
- Car insurance – You should shop around for car insurance at least once a year to make sure you are getting the best rates possible. Shop around and get some rates from a few different insurance companies. See if you can save more through a special discount that a company may offer, like discounts for safe driving, or by bundling multiple policies together.
- Life insurance – Life insurance is a great investment to make to protect your family’s financial security, but you shouldn’t have to overpay for that protection. Use comparison tools online to get a better idea of different policies that may work for you and prices you may expect to pay. Some companies even offer a type of instant policy that lets you skip over the typical medical exam to give you an affordable life insurance rate without the hassle. Get quotes from a few different providers to find the best policy for the best rate that fits within your budget.
- Credit card interest rates – Credit card debt can be a huge challenge to overcome if you have a high interest rate. Talk to your credit card company to see if they can lock in a lower interest rate for you. This will reduce the amount of interest you will have to pay, which can help you pay down your debt drastically faster.
By paying a bit of attention to the rates of your essential bills and services, you’ll be sure you aren’t overpaying for what you need. With lowered monthly expenses, you can free up more to put toward your dream vacation.
Streamline Your Subscription Services
With how easy it is to trial a subscription, or even just start one, it’s no wonder how we can easily end up with more than we even realize. Use this fall as an opportunity to really sit down to review your subscriptions—whether that’s streaming services, subscription boxes, or gym memberships—and think about whether or not you really need them. Cut back or cancel subscriptions that you no longer really use or need and funnel those savings into your vacation fund instead.
Plan Budget-Friendly Fall Activities
Fall brings about some of the most enjoyable weather out of all the seasons, and, of course, you and your family want to make the most of it while still staying on track for your dream vacation. Luckily, there are so many budget-friendly fall activities you and your family can do to enjoy the season without breaking the bank.
Try hiking to enjoy the fall foliage or visit a local pumpkin patch. Check with your city, your local library, or other businesses around to see if your community has any budget- and family-friendly events happening near you.
Fall is a season of transformation and change. As the world around us changes, we can embrace change, too! By making some savvy financial choices and opting for more budget-friendly activities, you can make the most of your fall while investing in your family’s dream vacation.