Guest Post: Holiday Money Saving Tips
I love going on holiday, I love the build up to it, counting down till the big day arrives. I love the journey there and the excitement of seeing what the hotel is like. I love the time we spend together as a family, uninterrupted by laptops, mobiles and other technology. In fact, I love just about everything to do with going on holiday except for the paying for it part of it.
It can sometimes be difficult to justify spending such a chunk of money on one week (or two if we’re lucky) but I’ve found a few ways to make a little bit of extra money to put towards it so it doesn’t seem as bad.
The most important thing I find is having a separate bank account for the extra money I make because in all honesty, if the money went into the main back account it would get swallowed up by boring grown up things like bills. Whenever I make a little extra money, it’s moved straight into the holiday account (internet banking is great for this) and it’s so satisfying to see the balance gradually increasing.
A lot of the money I earn comes from selling things on eBay – I sell clothes that the children have grown out of, toys they no longer play with, their old DS/Xbox/Wii games, things from around the house that we no longer want. Anything really. I’ve just started to use the app on my iPhone to list items which makes eBay even easier to use. If you have a clear out, you’d be surprised at what you would be happy to part with and probably even more surprised at the money you make. We just transfer the money straight into the holiday account. It’s also worth noting that most of our holiday clothes come from eBay, especially the children’s.
Car Boot Sales
Anything you don’t put on eBay you can take along to a car boot sale where, for around £10.00 you can set up a stall and again, you’d be surprised at what people will but – it really is true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just bear in mind that people go to a car boot sale looking for a bargain so people will always try and bargain you down, which is why I usually sell higher value things on eBay and the lower value items at a car boot sale. Any money we make (other than what my daughter tries to spend on other stalls) is paid into the holiday account.
Cashback websites pay you cashback on your online spending and have a massive potential to earn you extra money. The amount you earn varies depending on how much you are spending, the product and the company. They work with hundreds of different websites to give you the chance to earn extra money on your spending but the biggest cashback amounts are for things like opening a new bank account with certain banks (great to put your holiday money in), switching utility or insurance providers and taking out a new mobile phone contract. What I did when I first discovered cashback sites is change my home insurance, car insurance and pet insurance and my gas and electricity to companies that would save me money on the amount I paid each month as well as paying cashback for switching. All the cashback I get goes into the holiday account, as does the savings I make by switching.
Meal Planning Moneysaving
There’s a lot to be said for sitting down on a weekend and working out what food you have in the house and writing a meal plan for the coming week based on what you have in already. I then write a shopping list out and STICK TO IT. This saves me a fortune every week as it means I’m only buying what I need and anything I spend less that the weekly shopping budget is transferred over to the holiday account. The added benefit to meal planning is the feeling of being super organised every night when you know what’s for tea and less food going to waste. You’re also less likely to want a takeaway when you can’t be bothered to cook so you’ll save even more.
Good Old Fashioned Piggy Bank
We have a savings jar, bought from the pound shop, that you can only get into if you open it with a tin opener. It’s in the Living room so we have to walk past in when we go in and out of the house and we empty all of our change into it every day. When it’s full, we take it along to one of those machines in the supermarket (I know, they charge 8p per pound but it’s so easy) and get it changed. The money is paid straight into the holiday fund and we buy a new jar to start over again.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that all of our holiday spending money has come from doing these five things so it’s well worth trying it.
There must be plenty of other things that I can be doing – any ideas?
Cass is the Writer of The Diary of a Frugal Family and a working mum of two. She started The Diary of a Frugal Family to blog about her family life and enjoys blogging about food, fun, family and spending. Since starting her blog, Cass and her family have managed to change their spending habits and give useful tips to help readers too.