Holidays can be costly, when not properly planned for. And with the season to be merry almost upon us, the question of “how can I afford a holiday?” is as, if not more pertinent, than “where will I go?”.
The average South African holiday-makers pay for their trips on credit, taking up to six months to pay them off. Nolene Parboo, Senior Manager: Savings and Investments at Standard Bank shares a few tips on how to ensure you don’t acquire more debt in your pursuit of a getaway.
Here are Parboo’s nine top tips to help get you started with saving for your holiday:
- Save up for your time out
Saving as much as you can towards a goal such as a holiday should be always be the first option. Start cutting costs and freeing up funds where possible.
- Out of reach, out of spend
A savings or 32-day account can help prevent you from dipping into your savings. Without the luxury of idle cash you won’t be tempted to buy on impulse.
- Manage cents and expectations
Know what you’re working towards so you can manage your own expectations and meet a realistic goal. Conduct research on the type of holiday you want, how much it will cost and peak and off-peak season price differences, right down to what you’ll need to get around.
- Find the right season
Understand your bank’s rewards programme so you can make the most of the value it offers. You may also want to consider going on holiday during off-peak seasons if your leave is flexible, saving up to 50%. All-inclusive packages also offer great deals and take the stress out of searching and booking your flights, accommodation and car hire separately.
- You could be sitting on gold
Take stock of things you don’t need around the house, which you can sell for extra cash. With the advent of online selling platforms, you can easily find a buyer for almost anything.
- A penny here, a penny there
Make a habit of saving all the unused change you collect during the day. Keep the money jar until you’re ready to exchange it for notes to pay towards your holiday.
- Bank smart
Take some time to speak to your financial advisor to ensure you’re using the right account type for your savings and everyday spending. Also avoid unnecessary added expenses such as the additional charges you’ll pay when withdrawing from a different bank.
- Drive your car expenses down
Minimise your driving and petrol use by finding the best route to work or planning your errands effectively to make the most of each trip. If you’re only taking short trips to work, home and the surrounds, consider scaling down from a 4-litre engine to save on fuel and insurance premiums.
- Stick to your current phone if it works
The prospect of a new phone upgrade may be tempting, but this incurs additional fees when your current phone is working fine. Limiting yourself to one device contract will also leave you with more cash for everyday (or holiday) necessities.
The sum of all these efforts can make a substantial difference to your bank balance and draw you closer to your dream destination.