Normally I’m not one who’s up for traveling. However, here in southern Ohio it has snowed nearly every day for the past three weeks, the temperature has remained in the single digits on most days, and the roads are too bad to drive on. Saying that I’m suffering from cabin fever is a bit of an understatement.
While I’m stuck in the house crossing my fingers that winter will soon come to an end, I’m also dreaming about warm places. And, since I don’t have much of a vacation budget, I’ve been scheming up ways I can score a little getaway on the cheap.
If you’re in a position similar to mine, here are six painless ways to save money for a vacation.
1. Cash in credit card rewards points
I’m not a huge proponent of using credit cards for their rewards points, but I know several people who have a lot of success with this. If you’ve amassed rewards points, then you can cash them in for travel, cash, or gift cards.
You may even have enough points for airline tickets or a few nights stay in a nice hotel. You can’t get a better deal than free travel!
2. Set up small automatic transfers
If you take one or more vacations per year, setting up a small automatic transfer from your paycheck into an earmarked savings account is a painless way to build up your vacation fund.
Even if you only transfer $10 per week, you’ll have accumulated $520 in one year. You probably won’t even notice that $10 transfer — but it will feel great to have an extra $500 or more for your vacation.
3. Cash in your change
All of my purchases are paid for with cash or a debit card. I throw all of my extra change in a jar, and wait until it’s full to cash it in.
Saving your change and cashing it in for a vacation is one of the easiest ways to add a little padding to your vacation fund.
4. Recycle scrap metal & aluminum cans
For those of you who have a slight love affair with pop, you know that aluminum cans pile up fast. The downside is it usually takes quite a bit of them to earn decent money.
If you have any scrap metal to cash in, your recycling efforts can add up a lot quicker. Scrap yards will take a variety of scrap metals. You can turn aluminum, copper, iron, brass, and more into cold, hard cash.
5. Do a few odd jobs
I like to figure out what odd jobs I can do to earn some extra cash. I’ve babysat, completed surveys, filled in at my dad’s store, and lately, I’ve been thinking about refinishing and selling old furniture.
To me, there’s nothing better than getting paid for something you enjoy doing. Find a fun odd job you can do every now and then, and add your earnings to your vacation fund.
6. Sell your stuff online
Last week, I wrote about the best places to sell stuff online — because it’s so easy to de-clutter your home and earn extra cash at the same time.
If you have a garage sale pile and are ready to go on vacation, try selling your items online. If you’re new to online selling, I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly your items go.
If you sit down and think about it, there are so many things you can do to painlessly save money for a vacation. By doing only a couple of these things, you can save enough money for a weekend trip. Do them all, and you may have enough money for a week-long vacation!
How do you painlessly save money for a vacation?