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Save Money Together for a Special Family Vacation!

Oct 31, 2013 12:09AM ● By Erin Frisch

Vacations are a wonderful way for family members to come together and bond. New memories are made, and family ties are strengthened. However, saving money for a family trip can be difficult, and this is especially true if you are already on a tight budget. But if you follow our tips below, you can start saving for that special vacation, and we know you will come up with even better ideas for helping the whole family save up for that much-needed trip and time together.

Start by Creating a Vacation-Savings Jar as a Family

A creative way to get every member of your family motivated to save money for the awesome vacation you will be taking is by creating a vacation savings jar. (You can also use a box or any other kind of container.) The jar might have a picture of the hot spot you all want to visit or the names of every family member on it. Be creative and design the jar together in a way that will motivate everyone to help save up. Once the jar is made, place it in a special location in your home. Next, decide together how much your family should aim to put in the jar each week.

Saving for a Family Vacation on a Tight Budget

If you are on a tight budget, sit down with the family and discuss ways to cut everyday costs. Make a list of daily and weekly expenditures, for example, and then together decide what is essential and what is not. An example would be to consider skipping those meals at fast food restaurants and putting the money you would have spent into the vacation jar instead. This is a win-win proposition, since dining at home is much healthier for the whole family.

Cutting back on “wants” as opposed to “needs” can also help the family save money faster so that exciting vacation can be taken sooner. This concept offers valuable lessons in delayed gratification for the kids and teens in the family too. Instead of spending smaller amounts of money on things that will be lost, broken, or no longer of interest in the short term, encourage them to save their cash and put it toward a vacation that will last a week or more and give them memories for the long term, maybe even for a lifetime.

Earning a Family Vacation Together

If you are trying to save money for a family vacation, another idea to consider is having each member of the family place a certain amount of cash in the vacation jar each week. Adult members of the family who are employed might commit to putting $10 or $20 in the jar each week. A child can do chores such as taking out the trash and feeding the family pets, earning a small allowance and adding some or all of it to the jar every week. Teens who earn a higher allowance or work at a part-time job should consider adding $5 to $10 to the vacation jar every week.

Depending on the ages of the members of your family, you might consider making the commitment equal and asking everyone to add $2 to $5 to the jar every week. This strategy will enable each family member to feel like he or she is contributing to the special trip that’s on the horizon. And everyone will appreciate it more because everyone sacrificed to make it happen.

The Bottom Line

Planning and saving money for a family trip should be done together. After all, togetherness and commitment make a family strong. You can even set smaller goals along the way to reaching your big goal. For example, when you are a quarter of the way to your goal, you might decide as a family exactly where you will go for your special vacation and start collecting information about where to stay and what each member of the family wants to do once you all arrive at your destination. At the halfway mark, you might make reservations for lodging, and when you are three-quarters of the way to your goal, start looking for the best buy on air travel if you plan to fly. You might even make a “thermometer” graphic and divide it into sections according to amounts of money saved, with the total amount you need to save at the top. You’ll have fun and get motivated as you all count up the savings each way and fill in the “thermometer” to indicate how much closer to your goal you are. When you’ve finally hit the amount you need and you’re off on your adventure, you will all enjoy and appreciate the experience knowing that the whole clan made it happen. Take lots of pictures to remember your family vacation and to enjoy reliving it while you all save up for the next great family adventure!

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