Money

How To Save For A Holiday So You Won’t Feel The Pinch

We’re back in action after the holidays and it’s time to face facts: we’ve spent all our money on Christmas gifts, impromptu beach trips and a bunch of rooftop beers. Funny how quickly that last pay cheque went, hey? Heading back to work isn’t any relief, and it’s become glaringly obvious it’s time to get ourselves to another city, state or country for a holiday stat.

But newsflash: Holidays cost money. And once you factor in flights, accommodation, activities and all the scrumptious food you’ll be consuming, it’s hard not to get deflated seeing your hard-earned dollars plummet down the drain. Don’t get too down in the dumps; there is a solution. And no, you won’t have to give up coffee or your precious Sunday brunches.

Here’s a few tips to help you look forward to your trip without feeling the savings pinch.

#1 Set out a travel budget

I know, I know, this is probably the last thing you want to hear. But having a budget in order will be mighty helpful in the long run. Start by estimating exactly how much you’ll need for the trip. Then, use Westpac’s handy budget planner to get your money in order.

This tool will help you calculate exactly how much money is coming in, how much is leaving through expenses and how much is left over at the end of the day. Now you can set aside a set amount each week – or even set up a separate savings account for your travel fund, that way you won’t accidentally spend your travel money on measly lunches and movie tickets.

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#2 Get food and drink savvy

Ok, we said no giving up coffee, but have you ever wondered how much money you’re actually spending on takeaway coffee each week? Or how much the daily $10 lunch would add up to? We did the maths, and it’s not pretty. So, how about making your coffee at home? Or aiming to bring your lunch in to work for the week. It can be done; you just need a little inspo (lookie here).

#3 Know what to do with your b’day/tax money

Got a birthday coming up? While it’s tempting to spend that b’day money on something for yourself right now, it’s even better to put it directly into that travel fund for use at another date. Meanwhile, tax season is only a few months away, which means you’re bound to get a nice bounty of extra cash momentarily. And with the average Australian tax refund hitting around $2112, that’s the majority of your holiday sorted. Score.

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#4 Learn the art of the re-sell

Recoup some costs by selling some items in your house and wardrobe that you no longer want. It’s an easy win as selling your stuff involves resources that you most likely already have: stuff to get rid of, and a strong Wi-Fi connection. Take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and spring clean your space, organise what you’re going to sell, how to sell it (eBay, Gumtree, market stalls or Facebook groups) and reap the bounty. Head here for tips on making bank by selling your stuff online.

#5 Plan your shopping way in advance

If this past holiday season is anything to go by, December is one expensive month. And yet every year we’re shocked by the sheer amount of money that goes into gift giving, holiday parties and summer vacations – but the buck stops here. This year, let’s make a pledge to get our shopping (seasonal or otherwise) sorted way in advance, so we’re not blowing all of our pay on festivities.

Got an anniversary/best friend’s birthday/dinner party coming up? Start planning your spending in advance as much as possible, so you’re not scrambling the week before and overspending to compensate. Get out your trusty to-do list and write dates in your diary – you won’t regret it.

Saving for travel isn’t easy, but Westpac know how to calm the spending purge. Learn more about Westpac Savings Accounts here.


Rebecca Russo is a freelance writer, editor, community radio dabbler, occasional hiker and celebrity autobiography enthusiast. She has written for online publications including Junkee, AWOL, Fashion Journal and Tone Deaf. Find her online here.