Your Dream Vacation in 5 Simple Steps

Couple  petting an African Lion on their Dream Vacation
VICTORIA FALLS ZIMBABWE OCT 13: People walking with lions on oct 13 2014 in Victoria falls Zimbabwe. People can take part in, all in support of the larger conservation efforts to save the African Lion (meunierd / Shutterstock.com).

Maui, Tahiti, Disneyland, New York. Dreaming of visiting these places someday, hopefully?  Stop dreaming and start making it a reality.

NPR reported people tend to find more happiness in doing things, rather than just getting things.  Instead of spending money on that new outfit or new video game, do something fun that takes you away from your day-to-day reality.

Following these five simple steps will get you off your couch and onto a plane.

Dream Up the Perfect Getaway

 You can’t have a dream vacation without first dreaming about it.  Consider all options73 million Americans have been on a cruise.  If that’s your dream, great! If you get sea sick, choose another vacation.

Is Disneyland your dream?  Do you dream of small lines and fewer people?  There are times when that dream can come true.

Avoid major holidays like spring break, Thanksgiving, Christmas and even Presidents Day.  Instead, plan to go on a weekday in March or May, or when kids are back in school in September.

Be Okay With Your Vacation Being In The Future

Instantly stream videos, instantly message your friends, instantly, instantly, instantly.  Get that idea out of your head.

To make your dream come true, be patientUSA Today said a family vacation costs around $4,500.  Most American’s aren’t going to instantly have that amount of money to use on a vacation.

Find a good time for a vacation, a few years in the future, if needs be.  Allow yourself time to save the amount of money necessary to actually enjoy your vacation, guilt free!

Watch For Different Deals That Will Make Your Vacation Less Expensive

By planning in the future, you can watch for deals. Be flexible in the dates you choose for your vacation and the times you choose to travel.

For example, some airlines offer cheaper tickets if you fly Monday through Thursday.

Watch different sites that offer daily deals or getaways through Groupon and take advantage of the discounts.

Put Off Simple Spending To Keep The Dream Alive

Keep your vacation on your mind and alive in your budget.  Look for ways to save money in the simple things you do each day to save extra money.  Take a look at your budget and consider these examples of simple ways to save.

  1.  Make your coffee at home. Put the money you would have spent on coffee into your vacation account.
  2. Find inexpensive entertainment. Go for a hike, play at a park, or rent a movie from your local library instead of going to the movies.
  3. Cook! Make homemade meals instead of eating out.  Daily Health Post suggests not eating out for two weeks and setting aside the money you would have spent at the restaurant.
  4. Save your tax refund. InvestorPlace says putting your refund into a checking account is a bad idea.  Before you know it, the money is gone and you aren’t sure what you spent it on.  Instead of piddling your refund away on meaningless things, save it for your vacation.

Once you have found simple ways to save, open a specific savings account to put this extra money into.  Being aware of the simple ways you spend or even waste money will help you save all you can for your dream vacation.

Account For Experiencing All The Vacation Has To Offer

Snacks, souvenirs, museums, theme park pictures, excursions, unique restaurants. Don’t forget about other expenses that ALWAYS come up while you are on vacation.

When planning for your vacation, put aside extra money you can use while on vacation.  You don’t want to ruin an amazing experience because you didn’t account for the extras costs.

Plan now to spend extra money on the memories of your dream vacation.  This will keep the memories sweet, not sour!

Enjoy Your Dream Vacation

Once you have scrimped and saved and sacrificed for your vacation, enjoy it!  Having the money saved to spend on your vacation will allow for a fun filled trip for all.

You won’t spend the whole vacation worrying about how you are going to pay for this or that.  Your dream vacation will be perfect if you use our simple steps to prepare now.

Give Me 5 Minutes to Make You a Budget Ninja

Budget Ninja

Budgets! Synonymous with overwhelming; work; failure.

Budgets don’t have to be any of those previous mentioned words. Budgets should be easy, helpful, and adaptable to anyone’s style.

Budget-Fu Starts with a Decision

Pick a specific reason for a budget, it’ll help you stick to it.

Think about the goals you want to accomplish for the year and decide what is most important for you. Are you making a budget to track your spending and see where your money goes? Or are you wanting to save money for something specific?

Decide on the reason and write it down. As you make progress, record it in a place you can see often, so you can measure your success and keep on target.

Start Simple My Little To-Dai

When it comes to managing a budget, start simple!

As with any goal, if you set your sights too high, you risk failing. Be realistic. Try looking at one aspect of your budget that needs help, like cutting back your food budget.

Save $10 dollars a week amounts to $520 a year! An extra $520 to pay down debts will save you in interest costs and help you become debt free. It’s a step-by-step process, and every little bit helps.

Creativity Will Make Your Budget Stronger

Simplifying your food budget is an easy way to start. Though there are many areas you can budget for similar benefits: entertainment, utility costs, transportation, education, you name it.

With a little bit of creativity, you can save in almost every expense category there is! Here’s some great ways to save without giving up the benefits.

  1. Grab a RedBox movie or two. The typical theater movie costs $8. Have a family of four? That’s $32 plus concessions. Get twice the movies with all the popcorn you can eat for $4.
  2. Carpooling saves you half your travel cost by simply switching between who drives.
  3. Get out of the shower! And maybe grab a shower timer while you’re at it. Hot water showers up utility bills making it hard to save.
  4. Used text books. Whether or not you’re in school, buying the latest edition of a text book requires all your savings and a finger or two. Buy the previous edition for pennies!

Knock Out Credit Card Spending

Financial planners say to use cash as often as you can. Be honest with yourself about your spending limit and be diligent about sticking to that amount.

Credit cards allow an unlimited amount of spending. Cash forces you to stay within the amount of money you have.

When you pay with cash, the debt is paid off immediately, which also means you won’t be stuck overspending or paying interest rates on credit cards.

Get In Touch With Your Inner-Ninja

Find what budget format works with your style. What works for one, might not work for you. There are plenty of budgets to choose from. Search around for the perfect budget for you.

If you are making a budget to save for a wedding, or vacation or something specific, set up your budget that works around that specific goal.

If you are looking to see where all your money is going, decide on a format that allows for visualizing your spending habits.

Don’t Let Fear Sabotage Your Budget

Budgets don’t have to be scary. Practicing these few simple steps will make you a ninja budget master in no time!