My husband and I love to travel. And I rarely pay full price for anything. Just ask my family. And we always encourage everyone we know to take a vacation every year, if at all possible. Just a change of scenery and getting away from the same routine works wonders!
It’s nice knowing that before your bags are packed and you walk out your front door that you’ve already paid for your travel and lodging in advance. But what about spending money? Restaurants? Souvenirs? If you’re not careful, the budget can get completely blown to smithereens. And we tend to be more carefree when we’re on vacation. I mean, we’re on vacation!
Years ago we decided that we would have our spending money saved up and would not have to touch our checking account or credit card. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be paying for a vacation long after it’s just a beautiful memory.
I was looking for our 2014 vacation a few days ago – just looking, mind you – when I had a thought that I should share my #1 painless way to save money for vacation. Actually it was originally my husband’s idea, but what’s his is mine and what’s mine is mine. 🙂
So this is what we do: We pay cash (as opposed to debit card or check) for as many purchases as possible throughout the year AND we never give the cashier the exact change. We use paper money only. That’s right. If the grocery bill is $115.06. (that’s a very conservative amount), we hand the cashier $116.00. The change goes into our vacation savings. And occasionally my husband will throw some bills in with our change to make it all interesting and to surprise the daylights out of me.
It’s not hard once you get used to it. A few days before we leave for vacation, all the change is taken to the bank, dumped into the coin machine and exchanged for bills. My husband always takes it to the bank. It’s heavy!
We always try to guess how much change we have. And we are always astonished at the amount we have saved. And we did it all pain free.
This past summer we spent three weeks in St. Maarten celebrating our (belated) 30th Anniversary. We used our vacation change for spending money and we ate out a lot and went on a couple of excursions. I mean, you have to try all the restaurants and French Pastry shops on the island, right? I still dream about those macaroons!
We never had to dip into our checking account OR use our credit card. And we brought back souvenirs for all of our children and grandchildren. (Our oldest grandson wanted euros for one of his souvenirs – so cute).
All of our vacations are certainly not for three weeks (I wish), but as soon as we get home, we begin saving our coins for the next year.
Or, maybe travel is not your thing, maybe you’ve had your eye on a certain big ticket kitchen appliance like a Viking range (oh, sorry, that’s my dream) or a new washer and dryer.
Start saving all of your coins and see how fast they add up. I mean, look at it this way: A year or two is going to pass by anyway, right? And way too fast, mind you. Keep adding those coins to your savings and pretty soon, you’ll have enough for whatever you are saving for.
I’ve also heard of people skipping that daily stop by the specialty coffee shop and saving the money they would have spent on that latte.
Do you have some money saving tips that are painless? Please share!