How to save for a holiday the easy way
EVERYONE loves holidays (who doesn't?), and it is a time where you want to do it nice - you know, nice wine, nice room, good view of the beach, a couple of spa treatments - going all out.
But if you don't have a spare $5K laying around never fear. I'll show you how to painlessly save for that holiday without trying:
PUT A HOLIDAY ON LAY-BY: Yep you can do it. Many of the popular travel companies will let you pay it off all year. And provided the holiday is paid off at least two weeks out you can book the holiday and start putting some cash down - just like you usually do at Christmas or for birthdays. Lay-by is a terrific way to save up for anything.
PUT THOSE SAVINGS AWAY: Every time you save some money (eg you cut the kids hair yourself), put that money into a separate account. Your holiday savings account. If you find that hard to do, there are apps that will let you do it easily.
USE APPS THAT ROUND UP YOUR PURCHASES: This is truly a painless way to save (and this is how I save up for a holiday myself). Apps such as Acorns link to your bank account, and every time you make a purchase using your account, the app will round up any cents to the nearest dollar, and will invest that money in the stock market for you. You can withdraw the money at any time. Find all the details on the Acorns website. The best thing is - you can also set the app to take out $7.50 a day instead of buying a fancy coffee and you can see your savings grow.
TRY THE $5 NOTE CHALLENGE: Go to your local cheap shop and buy a really large money tin (that you can't open!). Every single $5 note that touches your hands must go into that money box. This neat trick has been around for years and years, but it really does work. Then six weeks out from taking your holiday, crack the tin, and only use that money for the holiday.
ONE-GIFT-ONLY CHRISTMAS: The only problem with having a holiday at Christmas is that you are paying a premium... BUT you do get to avoid crazy family members. So instead of spending big on the family, introduce a one-gift-only policy (and none for the grown-ups) - and make the holiday the big Christmas gift.