5 Ways to Save for Your Vacation Now

The cost of your next vacation might stress you out long before you go. To ward off worries about overspending or going into debt, consider these saving strategies to help you prepare for vacation expenses:

1. Set up a designated savings account

Having a separate place for vacation money will help you keep track of your savings progress. At financial institutions such as Wells Federal Bank, you can connect a savings account to an ATM card and just use that card on the trip to spend what you’ve saved.

2. Contribute weekly, not monthly

Transfer money to that new account each week to work toward the savings goal regularly instead of as an afterthought each month. Write yourself a check or schedule a time to deposit funds.

3. Use a jar for change

Leave a big jar in your kitchen or living room and add any loose change you collect that day. If you don’t accumulate much change, pay the jar every time you indulge in a bad habit. (This can be a fun game for the family to play, too.)

4. Dine out less

A month or two before your trip, cook meals and prepare lunches at home more frequently. The cost of dining out can add up, especially over a week, and you’ll want to be able to spend that money on food while traveling.

5. Budgeting

Beyond food spending, look at your monthly account statements and categorize expenses as either fixed or variable. Set weekly goals to reduce the variable expenses, from coffee to movie tickets, a month before the trip.

With these savings strategies, you can dedicate your money more actively and productively to your family’s next vacation. The goals you set and steps you take now will help you feel good about your financial health even while you’re away.

Spencer Tierney, Nerdwallet