In many ways, saving for your summer holiday is easier than getting into shape for it! If you think smart, you can put in much less effort into accumulating pounds than shedding them in time for that August getaway.
PAY OFF CHRISTMAS DEBT FIRST
If you’re still paying for Christmas, it’s tempting to make minimum payments on credit cards and stash away the extra money for summer instead. However, you need to remember that you’ll be paying more interest than you need to and if you’re not careful, you’ll still be paying it long after your tan has faded. Head to this website for advice about credit cards and for budgeting tips.
BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS ASAP
The one thing you can spend on now is your travel. The sooner you buy your flights, the cheaper they’ll be, so bag them as soon as practically possible and work out how much you’ve saved by looking up the average fares to your destination. If you’ve just saved £200, for example, pay down your credit card with £100 and put the other half in your holiday fund.
GET MULTI TASKING
The other uncomfortable reminder of the festive season is the extra weight you’re carrying around. Just stop for a minute and think about all those comforting little treats you tell yourself you deserve as you schlep home on a cold and dark Thursday evening. Then think about how much of a dent they’re putting in your bank balance and how many lumps they’re putting on your waistline! If you’re in the habit of grabbing a pastry and a hot chocolate four or five nights a week, reduce them to one or two. Try not to drink alcohol during the week and curb the impulse to order fast food deliveries.
GET A DEAL ON YOUR UTILITY BILLS
If you didn’t do this in the run-up to Christmas then do it now, because you might find you can save a few quid each month if one or more of your utility providers is prepared to lower your bills in order to keep your custom. Remember to look at your mobile phone tariff, as well as at your TV subscriptions and even your gym membership.
GO CHARITY SHOPPING
On average, Brits spend £200 on their summer holiday wardrobes. This needn’t happen if you start scouting the charity shops and discount outlets early enough. Keep everything basic and lightweight, too, so you have lots of space in your luggage and it doesn’t weigh too much.
SAVE SMALL AMOUNTS OF CURRENCY
A really good idea is to get yourself an international pre-paid card and to use it as you’d use your regular debit card. A pre-paid international card will let you select several currencies to move money between, so if you give yourself a spends-budget of £60 for the week and you only spend £52 of this, move £8 into your euro wallet. It’ll soon add up – as long as you’re not tempted to move it back into sterling!