You’re tired. If you’re like many moms, you wish you had less stress, a shorter to-do list, and ninja time management skills. We dream of getting so much accomplished in a day!
I know, you want to get away and rest, but you don’t feel like you can take the time. There’s just so much to do, and money is scarce. I understand.
Today, let’s focus on how to creatively find ways to save for a big goal, such as a restful family vacation.
This past Sunday we returned from our annual vacation to Florida. Each year, when we return from our vacation, we begin saving and planning for the next one. Some years, saving the money wasn’t very difficult, but there are other years when we’ve had to scrape together pennies in order to get away. Unexpected expenses come up and life happens to all of us! But… those pennies turn into dollars when you’re careful. Pennies turn into dollars when you're careful. Click To Tweet
Here are a few of the best ways you can save money and meet a big family goal:
1. Begin saving at least a year in advance.
Don’t wait until the month before and then decide to put it all on a credit card. We work to set aside at least $100 each month towards our next trip.
2. Make saving money a fun experience.
Involve the whole family. Make it a challenge! Which family member or older child can come up with an entrepreneurial way to earn a little extra money? Who can contribute the most side money into the vacation jar? Think outside the box and turn it into a family game.
3. Keep the goal in front of you.
Don’t get excited about it this week but then forget about it next week. Set reminders on your phone, have conversations with the kids about where you’ll go and what they’ll get to do there, and hang a picture on the fridge. Stay focused and accountable.
4. Read about personal finance and budgeting.
5. Pray that God gives you wisdom with your finances.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve worked hard for a goal and He’s came alongside and carried us to meet the goal! There’s no way we could have done it without Him.
6. Save more by spending less.
In almost every family there’s room for improvement in this area:
- Cook at home instead of eating out. We used to waste so much money going out to eat! This is a constant struggle for us as a busy family. Try a program like $5 Meal Plans to help you create simple, inexpensive meals at home if you struggle in this area like I do.
- Check out books and movies at the library. Our library has an extensive movie selection! If your family likes to rent movies, this is a good way to add to your savings. Avoid the video store and head to the library instead.
- Instead of spending money on entertainment like bounce houses, trampoline parks, etc. go outside and enjoy the outdoors! Take a family bike ride, hike through a county park, or enjoy free local events like art fairs.
- Switch your cell phone service to a low-cost, lesser known carrier such as Republic Wireless. One of their monthly cell plans is only $5 per month!
- Negotiate your seemingly “fixed” expenses. I do this every so often; I make phone calls to my internet provider, telephone carrier, or insurance company and tell them I’m tightening my budget. They usually find a better plan for me to switch over to and I end up shaving a few dollars off our monthly bill!
- Use a programmable thermostat so that you can heat/cool your home more efficiently.
- Eliminate your cable TV bill. We haven’t had cable in probably ten years! We do watch some shows through our Amazon Prime account or by using a Roku box. Many news channels and sporting events are available to watch over the internet now, too.
- Find ways to earn side money from home, such as working as a virtual assistant or starting your own professional blog.
- Drink only water; no juice, pop, etc.
- Use less meat in your meals. Do you usually use one pound of beef in your stew? Taper it to a half pound instead.
There are times we’ve went away on vacation but money was incredibly tight. We made it work because family vacations are a priority for us.
One year we traveled to Florida for a week and had a wonderful time with only $500 to spend for a family of four. We stayed with friends for a couple of those days, used our restaurant gift cards we’d saved from the prior year, ate sandwiches and cereal, enjoyed Florida’s natural areas, and basked in the sunshine. That vacation was one of the most memorable trips we’ve ever taken. We felt incredibly blessed because we knew we couldn’t have planned that vacation without God’s help!
Our children are only young for a little while! Are vacations on your list of priorities, too? Do you have a big family goal you’re working towards?
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