Ever since our family came home from our vacation in Cuba last January, we have wanted to go back. Nothing beats our quality time spent together as a family and it is amplified even more when you throw in beautiful, blue water and sunny beaches, especially in the middle of winter.
Saving for a winter family getaway isn’t as daunting as it sounds and the earlier you start, the easier it will be for everyone.
Assess Your Household Bills
Take a look at each one of your utilities. Are you paying too much? Do you know what all of the extra fees are for? Are you on the right plan? Do you even need that service? Contacting your utility companies for a chat about your usage and if there are any plans that better suit you and will save you money, is a great way to cut back. We were able to cut one of our bills by over 50% by doing this.
Ask for Cash in Lieu of Gifts
When close friends or family ask what you want for your birthday or the Holidays, let them know that as a family, you are saving for a week away with each other and tell them that what you would really like this year is cash. If you know of a family who is saving up for a winter vacation, you can always wrap their cash gift up in a box with a note saying ‘Tuesday afternoon, sitting on the beach will be sponsored by us. Enjoy.’
Note: When asking and giving cash in lieu of gifts, know your audience. Some people still like to give tangible presents. In that case, ask for something you would have needed to buy for the trip (camera, gift card for a bathing suit, etc) and then put that money you would have saved to buy it away for your trip instead.
Lighten Your Load and Sell Your ‘Junk’
There’s no time like the present to clean your house and have a garage sale. Most of us accumulate too much in our lifetimes and if you have boxes of unopened items from when you moved into your house – eight years ago, then it is time to sell some of your excess to people who will find a use for it.
If you don’t have enough for a garage sale, you can still unload some items on various websites such as Ebay, Kijiji, or even Trend Trunk for designer clothes.
Save for Your
Rainy Wintery Day!
These ideas are all really helpful, but in the end, they will only work if you set aside the money you make and save it in a separate account. If you just keep the extra dollars in with your regular funds, they may be spent without you realizing it.
Find a Points Card That Works for You
We all have credit cards. In this day and age, it is just a given and it is a great safety net. The card you choose to use should do more than just buy your groceries though. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you two points back for every dollar you spend buying the things you would normally buy in a week, such as groceries, filling up on gas, and drug store purchases. You can learn more at https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/en/content/gold-rewards-card/)
According to a recent survey from American Express Canada: 64% of rewards card holders say their rewards program saves them money.
If you are earning points for the money you spend while buying groceries (for example), then use your card for the purchase and then pay the amount back as soon as you get home. use your card for the purchase and then pay the amount back as soon as you get home. This way, you will earn points for travel every time you use your American Express Gold Rewards Card. Each point you earn is less money that you have to spend to get to your winter destination. For this to be successful though, you need to remember to earmark the money in your account for those purchases and pay off your card at your earliest convenience.