As a full-time mother, partner and blogger, it’s fair to say that I don’t have as much time as I would like to spend quality time with my family, enjoying each others’ company and trying new things in brand new destinations. I wish! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t dream of laying on a beach and watching Ben build sandcastles with Stuart. However, a big family holiday also comes with a big price tag… a tag that gets even bigger when you take into account the price-inflation during school holidays. This got me thinking about the best ways to save for the holiday of a lifetime, and I have since come up with 4 shortcuts to saving for a big family holiday.
According to The Secret Traveller, making a budget is the best way to get ready for any holiday. Once you know how much you can realistically spend on your family holiday without going bankrupt, you can get to grips with how much you will need to save each month to reach your goal. Saving up your loose pennies can be one of the easiest ways to save extra cash – because I always have loose change in my purse that just sits there for months on end! By getting all of your family to put their loose change in a jar or piggy bank, you will make use of money that would otherwise go ignored.
Every month I have bills and necessary expenses that come out of my bank account, and I use the rest to keep my family afloat, even if I have made extra money over Christmas! Because of this, I often find it difficult to save money – especially for a big family holiday. However, by setting up a separate bank account, I have been able to set up a designated area for my holiday fund. You can also set up a direct debit to come out of your main bank account as soon as you get paid so that you can top up the fund every month. This may also help you if you’re prone to overspending, and make you think twice about that daily coffee stop…
If I’m being totally honest, I am completely in love with the internet – especially because there are so many online sites that help you save money on everything from homeware to food, to activities and more. There are also hundreds of sites that can save you money on big family holidays, and subscribing to their newsletters and offers is one of the best shortcuts to saving for a big family holiday. Groupon is one of the best websites I have found for bargain family holidays, and offer discounted rates for destinations around the world… many of which are perfect for adults and children alike!
After I’ve paid all of my main bills and put aside enough money for food shopping each month, I like to use what I have left to spend time with Ben and Stuart at the weekend. We might go to the cinema, to the theme park, or just go for a walk down the local nature reserve. Unfortunately, all of these activities cost money and often make a big dent in my bank account – money that could be used for a big family holiday. Although I don’t want to sacrifice these activities with my family, there are ways to take advantage of free activities on the weekends. Instead of paying to watch a film, rent a DVD and set up your own movie den in your house (complete with pillow fort, of course), or just take a walk to the local free park. By taking advantage of free activities, you can then use the money you would have spent on your big family holiday.
Saving for a big family holiday can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be! Do you have any more shortcuts for saving for a big family holiday? Let me know in the comments.