SPONSORED— With the summer vacation season rapidly approaching, you’re probably already dreaming of sandy beaches, family reunions or mountain adventures. But for many people, those dream vacations stay just that — dreams— due to lack of funds. Fortunately it’s not too late to start saving for a summer weekend getaway. By cutting back on some everyday “extras,” you can end up saving in a big way.
Skip the coffee: $60-plus
If you’re saving for summer, just say no— to that caramel mocha frappuccino. Believe it or not, the average daily latte can cost upwards of $4. Even if you’re hitting Starbucks every other day, you’re still spending upwards of $60 on that cup of joe. By brewing at home or going without, you can build a solid foundation for your vacation fund.
Sell your unwanted stuff: $200
If you’re a pack rat, it’s time to ‘fess up— and clean up. Wrap up your spring cleaning and make some extra money by holding a garage sale. Got a treadmill you never use? How about clothes that don’t fit? Like Simple Dollar advises, “All of that stuff stored in the closet is money just sitting there gathering dust.” Time to cash in.
Cancel that gym membership: $50
With the weather getting nicer and the days getting longer, summer’s the perfect time of year for outdoor exercise. If you lack motivation, check out free fitness groups in your area. Meetup allows for you to find others online that are interested in outdoor fitness activities. Join a group that runs every Thursday around the local lake, or a group that practices yoga in the park on Saturdays.
Eat in: $200
If your collection of takeout menus is your go-to cookbook, you could be saving a whole lot of cash by turning that oven on more often. According to the National Restaurant Association, the average American household spends $2,678 per year at restaurants— that’s $223 per month. Skipping the restaurant scene is one of the easiest ways to save in a big way, and you’ll likely wind up healthier to boot.
Leave the car at home: $200
Depending on how “mobile” your family is, your car could be a big blockade in the savings plan. The average US household spent more than $2,600 fueling up in 2013. If you’re a two-car household, consider carpooling to work, biking, taking public transit or (here’s a novel idea) walking.
Save your pocket change: $60
They say a penny saved is a penny earned, but most people are keeping tabs on those coins. At the end of the day, put all your spare change and $1 bills into a jar. Even if that’s as little as $1 a day, you’ll save at least $30 a month. If there are two of you in your house, you’ll double your savings!
Summer will be here before you know it; implementing these money-saving tips now can help you save at least $700 in just one month— enough for a summer weekend away. Need more than a weekend? Make the next two months all about saving. You’ve only got your dream vacation to gain.