This post is sponsored by Outski, written by me.
I’ve got a wanderlust. As proof, I offer the following as exhibit A: Currently, I’m simultaneously planning trips to Walt Disney World, Hawaii, the Turks & Caicos islands and Norway/Scotland/Iceland. For reals. That list would be even longer if I could afford to go more. As it is, the travel budget is stretched tight and so I need to go about the business of scrimping before I do any more vacation planning. Over the years, I’ve come to discover lots of little ways to save for travel. As part of a partnership with Outski (more about that in a minute), I’m here today to share five easy ways that I save money for family vacations. If you’re not already implementing these budgeting practices, maybe doing so will help you save for your next big dream trip, too!
1. Cut the gym membership
I’m as much about health and fitness as the next girl, but I find gym memberships to be more a luxury than a necessity. Why spend so much money each month to go to a stinky gym when you can run or walk in the great outdoors absolutely free? Personally, I have several workout DVD’s that I rotate through during my weekly fitness routine. I also invested in a balance ball and some hand weights that I use regularly. Maintaining my fitness level is absolutely free. Better yet? I can set the savings aside for travel.
2. Sell some old stuff
You might be surprised to learn what people will pay for the things you might consider junk. For example: we recently upgraded to low-flow toilets in two of our bathrooms. Rather than toss the old commodes in the trash, we listed them on Craigslist and–in no time–happily pocketed $80 for our old toilets. Who knew that people bought toilets on Craigslist?! Go through your stuff and see what might be useful to somebody else. Take a quality picture of it and take the time to write out a thoughtful description of your item. You never know how much you stand to make just from unloading some stuff.
3. Eat in
Whether we’re talking about takeout pizza or drinks and appetizers at the local Mexican restaurant, I’m here to tell you that buying prepared food isn’t cheap. You can avoid it by making a habit of weekly grocery shopping and meal planning. Think about this: a package of whole wheat pasta and organic spaghetti sauce might cost you $5 and will take approximately fifteen minutes to prepare and serve. Compare that to the $25+ you might spend to serve your family two medium pizzas from the neighborhood takeout place. That savings could equate to $20 towards that cruise you’ve always wanted to take…
4. Minimize pampering
I am often times shocked to hear how much money women spend each month on pampering services. Facials, waxing, manis and pedis all add up. And that’s not even touching on hair coloring, cuts and styles. Trimming down (pun totally intended) on these types of luxury experiences frees up cash that can be saved for making travel memories. Facials are not a regular thing for me; I’ve had two in my life. I paint my own fingernails and only splurge on a pedicure very occasionally. Hair color? Forget about it. I get a simple trim and style about once every ten weeks. Honestly, I don’t mind missing out on luxurious pampering services one bit because I know that going without them means that I will get to travel to some of my bucket list destinations and make memories that will last a lifetime.
5. Open a savings account for your next big trip
I know that setting money aside for vacation doesn’t come naturally for a whole lot of people. If you happen to be one of those folks, perhaps being more intentional about the process is key. Sit down and figure out how much you can afford to save each month. With that number in mind, set up an automatic bank transfer that will grow your travel savings without you having to think about it putting away the funds each month.
Perhaps Outski can help with that. Outski is an online platform that seeks to help people follow through with their big vacation plans, rather than just dream about them. Users can create an account on the site and then share travel plans and savings goals with friends and family. With Outski, planning family reunion cruises, multi-generational trips or any other vacation becomes a whole lot easier. Additionally, Outski users have the option to open a VSA (vacation savings account) so that they can be more intentional about saving for vacation. It’s free to sign up for and use Outski, but there is a one-time fee of $9.95 for the processing of your vacation savings card (think of it as a debit card powered by Visa/Discover). Here’s a short video to give you an idea of how Outski works.
Here’s how to enter:
- Sign up for an Outski account (select Internet article/blog —> Such the Spot in the “how’d you hear about us” section)
- Open a VSA
- Come back and tell me you did so via the Rafflecopter widget below
Two winners will be randomly chosen. Each winner will receive a $100 credit in their VSA. The funds can be transferred onto your savings card and used for travel (or any other purchase) and can even be pulled out from an ATM. You must be a U.S. Citizen over the age of 18 to win. Good luck!