Summer is that part of the year when nature reveals its incredible beauty, you can enjoy the warm weather, spend some quality time with friends and family in the garden and enjoy all activities you was deterred from during the winter such as going on a picnic or riding a bike in the woods. You count the days till your summer vacation and the days you spend in the office seem just endless. However, have you set aside enough money for your summer vacation? Or, you had to cover some unexpected expenses and the money for your vacation is sufficient to go to the countryside for the weekend? Whatever has happened, you should not get discouraged. You can still have a memorable summer vacation. Well, you might not afford to go to an exotic island but at least, you will not spend your days off in your apartment, browsing through social networks and envying your friends for being on a vacation. Here are a few tips on how you can save up without making too many sacrifices in the name of the well-deserved vacation:
- Save up on gas. You might not have thought about it, but if you use your car for going to work, visiting a friend living three blocks away from your house or giving rides to friends, that makes a serious amount of money per month. Use the car only to go to work, take the kids to school or when you do the grocery shopping. (Dragging bags of fruit, vegetables and meat in plastic bags would be too exhausting, so you’d better spare yourself that effort unless you consider it a workout). On the other hand, walking is not only beneficial to your health, but it is also for free. Alternatively, you can take the bike out of the basement, fix the damages, check the brakes and start using it. Riding a bike is the best cardio exercise, not to mention the traffic jams that will no longer bother you.
- How often do you dine out? Cut the restaurant visits in half and start cooking at home. Home-made meals are not only less expensive, but also way more healthy than those served in the restaurants. You can even take a portion of your meal for lunch instead of opting for fast food and a fizzy drink. You will save up from lunch and your body will definitely be thankful for not poisoning it with fried stuff and hamburgers.
- You have a house that is currently unoccupied? Why don’t you consider giving it for a rent? If it is in a bad condition, perform some home improvement projects, hire a painting contractor to refresh the interior, do a thorough clean-up and contact a real-estate agent. You will get back your investment pretty soon. If you live in a spacious house and you don’t mind having tenants, at least for a couple of months, go ahead and check the website of your community and see if anyone who matches your criteria is looking for a place to stay. If you are not lucky enough and don`t have such property, you can do the same with a garage – of course, don`t expect to get the same amount of money but it will be of help when saving for vacation.
- Spend quality time with friends and family at home. It is not the place but the people who make you shake off stress and forget about your problems for a while. So, instead of going to a bar on Saturday night, organise a party at home. Everyone can bring a bottle of wine and some snacks and there you have it. You do not sacrifice your social life, but you save up from expensive cocktails in the bar. If you have a family and kids, you can take them to the park or watch some movies at home instead of going to a cinema.
- Choose a vacation spot where you have a friend and call him/ her in advance. Ask whether it would be possible to spend a few nights in his/ her house. Of course, offer to pay for your stay. In all cases, your friend will not ask you to pay as much as you would pay for staying at a hotel.
- You probably hate these annoying emails from travel agencies but don’t delete them without taking a look at the offers. All too often, last-minute reservations are a pretty good deal and you can pick among wonderful destinations for half of the price your vacation would actually cost.