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Paying Cash for Your Vacation - You Can Do It
You might think a vacation is out of reach and that you will never have the money to take time off from work and travel somewhere. Or you could be on the other end and take a vacation every year, regardless of whether you can afford it, and probably put the whole bill on the credit card. I am here to tell you that it is possible to take a vacation and pay cash for it.
We just spent a week at the beach and it was paid for ahead of time with cash saved over a number of years. We are a one income family, living on a teacher's salary, so saving money to pay for this trip was difficult at times, but having grown up visiting the beach, I was determined to do it. The entire $3000 was saved and scrounged from small bits of money. There weren't really any large chunks or windfalls that made this trip possible. I kept a record in our savings account and there was rarely a deposit of more than $150 and it was usually much less.
I started saving for a trip to the beach about seven years ago. Yes, that is a long time to save for one trip. But I knew from the beginning that I wouldn't be going for awhile, because I didn't want to take babies or toddlers to the beach, it made me too nervous. I started by saving my change each day. I would deposit it every month and the account grew to several hundred dollars in no time. Then I started saving rebate money as well as change. Then I started earning money from my blog and started saving that too. Before I knew it, I had saved over $3000 for the trip.
Other ways you can save cash for a vacation is to sell unwanted items or pick up extra work, with the paycheck being dedicated to your vacation. I know it is hard to carve out extra money from a regular paycheck to pay for a trip somewhere. If you can do it, great but I was determined to not let my desire for the beach to impact our budget. One way to come up with extra money from your budget is to cut something out. If you normally go out for lunch twice a week, make it once and put the money saved from not eating out into savings. Or if you are contemplating spending money on something and then decide not to, put the money you were going to spend in savings for vacation.
I can honestly say that we enjoyed our vacation so much more because we had paid for it up front and saved the cash. In the past, that has not been the case. I have put vacations on credit cards (not large ones, but the same no less) and I have taken trips, wondering how I was really going to pay for it. It wasn't nearly as much fun as this trip, the first one we have ever saved cash for ahead of time. It was worth it and in the future that will be the only way we travel. It is possible to travel and pay cash, it can be done.