Summer is almost here! As a single mom, vacations are the things I dream of constantly. It’s a hard thing to schedule, save for and sometimes hardly feels worth all the extra work. But making memories with my daughter is SO important to me, and lets face it sometimes I feel like I ever get a break… but on vacation, I can breathe a sigh of relief.I wrote a post last year about vacation scheduling conflicts but this time I wanted to tackle how I save for vacation on as a single parent. Of course, saving up enough money to actually take a vacation can be a challenge when you’re working with just one income. Often times, there’s not much extra money lying around waiting to be spent on fun and travel. But it’s important to take vacations with your kids and create memories, so here are a few ways to save for a vacation on a single parent income. Here are my 5 best ways to save for a vacation as a single parent.
- Research a realistic vacation and set a savings goal. Studies show that when we are saving for a specific goal, we’re much more successful. So, instead of saving for a “vacation someday”, try saving for a “3 day weekend trip to the beach four months from now.” The more specific you are and the closer the deadline is, the more excited you (and the kids!) will be about reaching your goal and heading out on vacation.
- Create a monthly or bi-weekly budget and set aside money systematically. Figure out how much you can afford to save towards taking a vacation and have the money taken directly out of your paycheck and transferred into a separate savings account. If you make the transfer automatic, it will be easy and painless. I love using Mint for this and its free!
- Start a change jar (or some variation of it). Pinterest has some cute ideas to decorate them, and some you can even buy.Some people like to save all their change, some people save their $5 bills and I’ve even heard of a few people who get $20 cash back every time they go to the store and stash it away for vacation. Figure out what works for you and make it a habit to set aside the extra cash every chance you get.
- Give something up. If you want to get really serious about saving for a vacation, giving up something for a month or two can really make your savings account balance grow quickly. You could give up eating out for a month or make a pact to not buy dessert and treats for two months. Other great things to quit for a month or two include buying new clothes, cable TV, and monthly subscriptions you’re not using.
- If you’ve got a little spare time on your hands, spend 30 minutes and take a quick tour of your house, pulling out all the outgrown clothing, toys, and movies that you no longer need. Consider having a garage sale on a Saturday morning or selling nicer items to a local consignment store. You’ll make a little extra cash for your trip and have fewer things to clean up around the house. It’s a win-win!
I’d love to hear about the vacation you’re saving up for right now! Do you have tips on how to save for that vacation on a single parent income? I love hearing new ideas!