Family holidays can be expensive, especially if you have school-age children and can only go away during the school holidays (you can read my posts about the current UK term-time holiday regulations here and here). There are various ways which can help to reduce the cost of family holidays, including camping, home swapping and working holidays – I’ve written more about these here.
TSB have asked me to write about ways to save up for large purchases, such as holidays.
How to save up for holidays
- Determine your budget for your holiday by working out what you can afford to spend. Look at your income minus your expenses.
- If your expenses are more than your income then look more closely at what you’re spending. Apart from the essentials of rent/mortgage, utility bills, food and clothes, is there anything that you can cut out or spend less on in order to save up for a holiday? Even small expenses like buying magazines or drinking coffee at a cafe can add up to a lot of money over a year.
- Look at your weekly food bill to see if you can save money there. Could you save money by planning meals, writing a shopping list and going shopping once a week rather than more frequently?
- To save money on children’s clothes, can you swap with other families who have children of different sizes? My son’s received many clothes from a friend of mine who has an older son – when he outgrows them (if they’re still intact) we pass them on to a neighbour.
- If you can afford to, put aside some money each month to save towards your holiday.
- To stop yourself from spending the money that you’ve saved, put it in a savings account which is separate from your current account.
- If there’s somewhere that you really want to go but it’s out of your price range, how about having a very cheap holiday (such as camping) one year so that you save for your dream trip?
- Only pay for stuff (including holidays) by credit card if you can clear your balance at the end of each month. If you don’t pay off the balance each month you’ll have to pay a lot of interest.
Saving money on holiday expenses
- When you book your holiday, shop around to find the best deal. There are usually discounts on offer for early bookings and also (but with less choice) for very late bookings.
- If you book a package holiday, rather than travelling independently, you may be able to spread the payments over a few months.
- If you’d rather travel independently than go on a package holiday think about saving reward points which you can use to pay for flights. We often use Avios points to buy flights – you can read my post about using reward cards here.
- If you’re a UK citizen and you’re going to Europe, make sure that you have a free EHIC card before you go – it will save you money if you need medical care while you’re away. (Post-Brexit, when your EHIC expires you can apply for a free GHIC Global Health Insurance Card to replace it).
- Take out comprehensive travel insurance in case anything goes wrong – you can read my post about finding the best travel insurance here.
- Shop around to find the best deal on foreign currency.
For my top 10 family holiday budgeting tips click here. Do you have any tips to add for saving up for holidays and other large purchases?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by TSB but all words, images, opinions and ideas are my own.