Yes, you too can have a Fab Holiday. Here's how.
Saving for a fabulous holiday next summer? Do I get an enthusiastic nodding of the head, or do I get a wry smile that plainly says “ Wish I could, but. . . . .”. Either way, I expect that you will find this article of some use to you.
I am all for saving. However money in the bank is of no use to look at, positively dangerous to cart around in your pocket, and does not taste good served as a meal. So what do we do with our savings? Save for when you are old and decrepit?
Okay, okay, I was only joking. . . .don’t deafen me with your anguished “Wha a a a t!!”
Not much excitement in that kind of prospect, is there? But what about a week on a holiday cruise liner and a week on the silvery beaches of Bali [or wherever]? How would that grab you? I can see the light in your eyes shine! Whatever your dream, it is difficult to achieve without an amount of money that you have already saved.
What is good about saving money is that once owned, you can do with it whatever you wish. It is just as good to use for a new wardrobe as a new iphone; a holiday or save some more and get a car.
Income Minus Expenses is Discretionary Moneys.
If you are a working adult, then you have an income. Whether this is in the form of a weekly wage, or whether you make it in uneven lumps, you will know after a while that your income, less your basic expenses is an average of whatever is left per week.
You might well be having a fit of giggles right now, because you have found that you can barely survive from one payday to another. There are of course many exceptions, however, most of us have bills to pay like a house to pay off or rent, power in the form of electricity or gas or coal, government dues like taxes in whichever form, medical bills, food etc. . . Some of these bills may only be due once a year, but if you do not put money away towards it, it could well constitute a catastrophe for you when you do have to cough up for it.
So, if we accept the premise of income and outgoings, the first thing we need to do is to work out an annual budget. There are many styles of budgets, and most are good, except the one that lives in your head. It is amazing how elastic that can be and if it was possible to take a snapshot of it as you first create it and one some time later, you will be surprised at how different they are.
A budget needs to be worked and set up on paper or on screen. Once set up, you need to bring it out from time to time to see whether your finances match; what it says, or whether it needs updating. There is a wealth of information on the internet that you can get good ideas from, copy or use as required. Follow the links here and you can choose to work with whichever model suits you and your lifestyle. You don’t even have to be good with numbers, there is an app for just about anything you want to do now. What you do need is a sheaf of bills from last year- bills for housing, light and air conditioning, insurances – and a list of amounts that you think you need to live on – food, clothes, coffees, hair care, travel, fuel for the car etc. .
The budget app will lead you into adding up all the things you can assess on a yearly basis, then divide what is left over the year for you to spend as you wish. Make sure you add some for putting money away for that goal in your mind, whether it is a holiday, a car, or a new wardrobe.
A budget will not include an indeterminate amount that you can spend on entertainment, but maybe it can set up a weekly sum that you know you can spend on outings, drinks, takeaway snacks, movies, and the like.
It is a well-known fact that we tend to live according to our income and the higher the income, the higher the amount of spending. Why?
I am no psychologist, but my guess would be that we do it because we can. Some feel they can break out after years of frugal pocket money when in school, others have never been shown how to save for goodies later.
What is Your Choice?
How will you spend this $1,000 ?
I Want to Go on a Cruise by Next Spring.
The following is very important. Do not skip it, please.
You need to plan on what you are going to be saving for, how much you need, and how long do you expect it to take. If it is nearly holiday time, and unless you have been good at saving, you won't be going on a cruise as your friends are. BUT, you can make certain that you can be one of the holiday crowd next year. For example:-
I want to go on a cruise by next spring. Find out how much cruises cost and when are they likely to be. What places you would prefer to visit. Now convert that to say-
1..By mid- April next year, I want to have $1,000 in the bank.
Write it down on a slip of colored paper and stick it on your bathroom mirror, or wherever you can see it often. Put another little notelet with the same kind of words in your wallet. Colored paper attracts your attention.
2..Once you have set up a budget you will know how much money you have over and above your real needs – as distinct from ‘wants’.
Let us work on that $1,000 you need to save within a year. You are going to need to put away at least $20 per week for 50 weeks.
There are 52 weeks in a year, I hear you say. But being an old codger, I know from experience that it is not easy to keep to budgets at . . .say around Christmas time. So I work on the premise of 50 weeks so that I have a bit extra to spend around Christmas time, and still keep my savings on track.
3..Next step is to make an arrangement with the bank to put $20 away each week in a separate account. This will be automated to happen each payday, just as you would put away X amount for your bills, as soon as your pay hits the bank.
In effect you need 3 separate accounts. One is for the Bill Money. One is Savings/Holiday etc. The original one is whatever is left over for you to use for Everyday Expenses, entertainment, clothes etc. . . Some banks will let you break up the amounts within the same account, others will set up completely separate accounts. You can either have the bank automate this arrangement for you, or you can set up the automatic transfers via your online banking.
One Other Little Trick.
There is no doubt that you will need to exercise discipline to watch your spending to ensure you do get that fabulous holiday that beckons so enticingly.
At present you are already paying off some item you had bought last year. It is not a big loan, and you will wrap that up within the next three months or so. By then you will find that the saving measures which seem so drastic now, will have receded to the background of your thoughts and working smoothly.
There is yet another little 'trick' you can use, to put away money painlessly. Let us assume that you have organised all the steps you can adopt for saving enough by the date you want. So you are suddenly $10, $20 "richer" every month. It would cost you next to no pain to keep "ploughing" that amount into your savings. Yeah!! You can see that you will have enough for the holiday, maybe even a bit more for excursions!
How easy is that?!!
If you are determined to get all you can for your holiday [or other goal] by next year, you will find a few hints that will help you to get there fast. Quite fast.
Read this on Hubpages: -
You're Well and Truly On Your Way
It can be a nearly painless way of saving. After a few weeks, you will not miss that $20 dollars, and by now you know it is a reliable savings plan,so you can go ahead and book that cruise, knowing full well you will have enough for it by May of next year.
If at any time you find your will wavering, this movie will help you stay on track.
TIP: download it as mp3 or whichever format you can play on your player, slip it under your pillow at night, and let it run and wash through your brain while you sleep.
Money is Good.
If you have followed the program so far, then your holiday is assured. Maybe the holiday is all expenses paid, so you can safely look forward to a great time. Wouldn’t it be grand if you could also have some extra spending money on that holiday? That will have to be my next writing task.
© 2014 MarieLB