9 WAYS TO AFFORD A SUMMER ESCAPE

The warmer it gets, the more we all want a break from routine. But what good is a week of vacation if debt is weighing you down the whole time? Here are nine simple tips from Brad Wing, wealth planning specialist at Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, to help you determine your budget for summer fun and relaxation. Apply one or all to your summer planning and feel at ease knowing you won’t have to work overtime when the bills come in.

PRE-VACATION

ADD to rainy (or sunny) day savings.
If you have an account set up to save for vacations, direct any additional dollars you can to it for even just a few months. For example, set up an automatic transfer of $5 a day, and in two months you’ll have $300 in extra summer savings.

MULTIPLY the days until vacation begins by your amount of extra expenses.
When you have a big goal in mind, it’s easier to motivate yourself to redirect extra spending money into savings. Simply skip restaurant purchases and prep simple meals (avoiding name-brand groceries), use a fitness app instead of a personal trainer, trade golf for lengthy walks, and stream Netflix series instead of hitting the cinema. On average, cutting $15 a day can result in an extra $450 by the end of a month.

SUBTRACT costs associated with running the household.
Just because you’re on hiatus doesn’t mean your service providers are taking a break. Make sure to account for the usual expenses (like utilities), as well as additional costs like a house sitter when you’re away.

ADD some overtime.
If you’re keen to embark on an expensive getaway, something that calls for more than can easily be saved in a couple of months, you’ve got to put in some extra work. Try to budget your time differently. For example, look for an extra shift or two, or take on a side job to funnel all those earnings into vacation savings.

SUBTRACT excess baggage.
Garage sales can help you get rid of items you no longer need or want and can net you a good return in the process. Take a couple of days to tag and sell, and then haggle your way to a much bigger holiday.

Pay less PERCENTAGE rate on debt.
Any lending rate has some wiggle room. It’s beneficial to regularly keep an eye out for lower interest rates and use them to negotiate on your line of credit, credit cards, mortgage, and loans. See if your lender will beat or match the competition. Even a 1 per cent reduction can save thousands if you’re carrying significant debt.

DURING VACATION

DIVIDE my money into each day.
The simplest way to stick to your budget during summer break is via some easy math. Simply, divide you total savings by the number of days on vacation and balance any big-ticket spending. If one day needs a little more money, the next needs to be frugal. Be flexible, but smart, and watch the bottom line.

RATIO free activities into the agenda.
Not only do free activities allow for more spending on other memorable experiences, but having no-spending days introduces some much-appreciated rest time.

COUNT on special deals.
Most businesses have money-saving options like coupons, early-bird times, and referral perks. Sometimes you have to be flexible with the details or timing, but in the end, you’ll have a great, affordable experience.