During winter it’s natural to think about getting away for a holiday. But how do you save enough money?
There are a host of apps, websites and other techy tips and tricks that can help you save, sometimes without you even knowing it. Here we’ll show you how to save money quickly and easily for your next holiday.
1. Set a budget and stick to it
The best way to start is by knowing how much money you’ll need to go away. If you can work out a budget and stick to it, you’ll know how much you need to get away and what you’ll spend once you’re there.
Apps can help here. By factoring in all your monthly incomings and outgoings, they’ll give you a really accurate picture of your finances so you can see exactly where you stand. When it’s down in black and white, there’s no kidding yourself that you’re better off than you are. Online tool Budget Planner lets you plan expenditure for things like food shopping, takeaways and alcohol, so you’ll know exactly where you can make savings.
PocketGuard brings together all of your bank accounts in one place, including current accounts, saving accounts, credit cards and more, so you can take the temperature of your finances at a glance.
2. Get your save on
Once you’ve got a budget, you’ll know how much you need to save, but saving is a good habit to have anyway. By putting a little aside each month, you’ll soon build up a pot of cash to either spend on a holiday or use as a rainy day fund.
Again, there are all sorts of apps to help you get into the habit. Having a goal is one of the best motivating factors to save, as you’ll see your progress towards it with each penny you put aside. Savings Track lets you set a target amount, name it and give it a deadline. Savings Goals, meanwhile, will suggest a savings schedule, based on the amount you want to save and when the deadline is. That way, you don’t have to think about it.
3. Outsource saving to an app
Some people can’t trust themselves – as soon as they get the money in their account, the temptation is to spend it on a nice treat. If that’s you, you’ll want one of these apps that automatically puts money aside for you, taking the temptation out of your hands. You know what they say, out of sight, out of mind.
Chip and Cleo keep an eye on your finances and calculate how much you can afford to put aside every few days. They will suggest an amount for you to save, and as long as you approve it, will transfer it to a savings account on a regular basis. They also watch your regular outgoings like bills and rent/mortgage payments, and warn you if you’re going to go overdrawn. They will even suggest ways for you to cut back on your spending.
Some banks also have virtual savings pots. These let you set aside money for various projects/expenditures, whether they’re something big like a house deposit or small like having your bicycle serviced. Monzo lets you create virtual saving pots within your main Monzo account – just give each a name and an image and start funnelling funds into it. They won’t count towards your overall balance and you can’t spend direct from them, which should help your savings stay safe.
4. Plan your spending like you plan your holiday
Planning your finances for your trip might not be as exciting as planning your holiday activities, but it’s just as important. And if you do it right, you’ll have more money for more activities! Bonus.
Your first step should be to check how much your bank charges for using your debit or credit card abroad. That way you won’t get stung with any charges out of the blue. You can also take out a card that doesn’t charge any extra fees abroad, like Starling Bank’s. It also doesn’t charge you for withdrawing cash while abroad, or any transactions fees or purchase fees. So the price you pay for the goods or service is all you pay.
You can also put a limit on your spending using a prepaid card. You load these up with a certain amount before you travel, then you can only spend what’s in the account, effectively capping your spending.Pockit and iCount offer prepaid cards, but read the small print, as you could be charged for applying for the card, topping up, taking money out of an ATM, renewing or replacing the card and even if you don’t use the card for a certain amount of time.
Only taking cash? Make sure you get the best exchange rate before you change currency by using a comparison site like MoneySavingExpert. The difference in rates can be huge, so it’s worth doing your homework.
5. Find somewhere new
You might have your favourite holiday destinations, but it’s always worth looking for somewhere new, as you might find it’s better value for money.
You could try some apps, too. Weekend.com is a simple way to book a weekend away, and it scours all the best travel sites to find some great deals. And for a touch of luxury, try Mr & Mrs Smith, which curates the best boutique hotels all over the world. Because you’ve got to put all those savings towards something…