Side hustles are another great way to save up for a trip — or anything really — and you can literally have all your side hustle money go into your vacation fund. “Consider adopting a side hustle,” Shutt says. “The gig economy is real and it’s only growing, so there are lots of different ways to make extra money that don’t require a long-term commitment or major change to your day job. Sites like TaskRabbit, Fiverr, etc., allow you to use your free time and talents to make extra money on your own schedule. It can also be really fun to do work that’s aligned with your interests and skills (though don’t forget you’ll owe taxes on earnings, so factor that in so you don’t get burned at tax time!).”
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to start saving for a summer vacation, even if the balance in your vacation fund is currently $0. “Saving money consistently over time will allow you to have fun without the anxiety, guilt, and shame that often accompanies debt,” Shutt says. “Once you get to experience the joy of taking a trip that you know you worked hard and saved up for, you’ll likely be encouraged to find even more innovative ways to save and earn more, which is very empowering!”
Why It’s Important To Have A Vacation Fund
If you don’t have a separate vacation fund, once you create one, it’ll help make vacation time easier down the line. “It’s important to have a fun or vacation fund so that you’re able to take advantage of exciting opportunities without blowing your monthly budget,” Maggie Germano, Certified Financial Education Instructor and financial coach for women, tells Bustle. “If you have money set aside for things like travel or fun, you’ll be able to plan trips or start new hobbies and still stay on track with your spending. It’s a great way to foster peace of mind when it comes to your money. And then the next time a friend asks you to go on a spur-of-the-moment trip, you’ll have the money to do it without being strapped for cash.”
Fun is also part of why you should have a vacation fund. “Have a vacation fund so you can have FUN, that is, create the memories and life experiences you value most,” Langin says. “For many working people, achieving our goals requires a budget or some financial planning, whether you just want to have fun in the sun or set aside funds for a summer vacation.”
Lastly, having a vacation fund will help you develop good money-saving habits for other goals, too. “For young people, retirement can be more than 30 years away, which is literally a lifetime away for millennials,” Reiner says. “Having a vacation fund and taking the time to save for it helps you build strong financial habits that will pay off when saving for faraway goals, i.e., a robust retirement fund.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to start doing all of the above ASAP… that is, once I short-list where to go on vacation.