Monday, March 21, 2011

Save Money for Summer Vacation

Summer is fast approaching and dreams of vacation are dancing around in the heads of college students and graduates alike. Manys dreams of vacation will be dashed upon the rocks of reality when they realize how much a vacation actually costs!  Vacations are a luxury item, not a need. 

Personally, I have not been able to afford a vacation in over 6 years, but this year will be different.  This year I have the extra money available to spend on a much deserved vacation.  The best part is, I'll be paying for the entire trip with the extra money I've earned and saved. 

The best way to go on a vacation and not break the bank or borrow money to do it, is to budget for the trip ahead of time.  Setting aside money for a full year before your intended vacation will be less of a strain on your monthly expenses. Here's what you do:

Make a Vacation Jar and put it somewhere you can see it!  Looking at it every day will inspire and encourage you to be disciplined with your money.  You can even set up a coin jar for your children.  Glue on a picture of the place your family will be vacationing to and let them decorate it however they like.  Letting them in on the saving will teach them healthy money habits that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.   Keep it fun and they will jump at the chance to participate.  When they grow up they will think it's fun to save money.

Saving up coins is not enough to fund a vacation, you will have to earn extra cash to supplement your primary income.   

Earning Extra Income is the second part of this process.  Taking on a second job is impossible for most, especially for college students and single families.  There are some alternative ways of earning extra money that I have personally had success with. 

1) Make Money Online

  • Inbox Dollars is an online Get Paid To site that pays users to read emails, watch commercials, shop, and browse the web.  You can also complete trial offers and surveys. 
  • CashCrate is another GPT site that I have had success with.  It is alot like Inbox Dollars.  Here is my CashCrate payment proof.  CashCrate also has an awesome referral program that pays a great percentage.   
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk employes "workers" to complete tasks for paying companies that computers are not capable of processing.  I have made over $80.00 with them in 6 mths.  I used it to buy text books. 

Between all three of these sites I've earned around $130 since the end of September 2010.  Doesn't sound like much, but if I would have had the time I wanted to work for these Get Paid To sites, I would have tripled my earnings. 

2)  College Students - Sell class notes for cash.  I typed up an organized study guide with terms and T/F for my real estate class last semester, and sold them for $5.00 each.  People paid, and I got $30.00

3)  Donate Plasma - For a fee of course.  Many states pay healthy donors anywhere from $20-$40 a pop for a donation of plasma.  If you qualify, you can donate twice a week!  It takes 2 hrs to donate and you must schedule an appointment. 

Cut Costs is the last ingredient to this Vacation savings recipe.  It doesn't matter how much extra money you make, you will never be able to get ahead and put money aside if you can not lower your expenses.  A few simple ways to cut your costs is by just not paying full price for things.  Shopping for clothes out of season is a tried and true method of lowering your costs.  I shop for my daughter this way at Walmart.  Also consider using coupons when grocery shopping. 

Reevaluate your monthly bills.  You could be paying too much for things like your cellphone service or car insurance.  Switch providers if you can find a better deal with another company.  Eliminating unnecessary monthly expenses will help put money in your pocket, or better yet, in your Vacation Jar! 

 If you're like me and want to escape to Margaritaville, then follow these easy steps to Save Money for Summer Vacation.  Reward yourself, you deserve it!  Just don't over do it.  Simple vacations to the beach or camping with the family are always cheaper than trips to resorts or cruises.  Remember, it's about the experience, making memories, and most of all relaxing!

Good Luck


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