Think you can't afford a vacation? Here's where to look at what you're already spending and how to cut costs to be able to afford to get away and how to save money for a vacation. It might be easier than you think.
1. Cut the coffee shop stops
We all love coffee, but have you ever thought about how much you spend per day on those morning and afternoon coffee runs? That Venti Vanilla Latte you just have to have may be costing you up to $12 a day. Bring your favorite mug and grinds to work to make your own freshly brewed cup.
Buy an espresso maker for your house to make those lattes you love. Even if you buy the fancy syrups you will save hundreds of dollars per year.
2. Walk, bike, and ride
One easy way to cut costs at home is to walk or ride your bike to work each day. You will get a workout, help the environment and save on gas.
Even if you live in the suburbs and taking public transportation or biking to work is impractical, challenge yourself to run one errand per week without your car.
3. Ditch the cable TV
With so many streaming video services available, you really don’t need pricey cable television anymore. As long as you have decent high-speed Internet, you can drop the cable package, stream your favorite TV series without commercials and save money each month.
4. Buy used
Thrift and consignment shops are easy spots to save money, especially if you have children who are still growing. Stop buying brand-new jeans and tops that your children will grow out of in six months. Hit up your local thrift and consignment shops. Often they have never-worn and barely-used clothing you can snatch right up for a fraction of the price.
5. Step up your coupon game
Coupons are a pain to clip, and they either get lost or expire by the time you remember to use them. If you want to save without the hassle of clipping coupons, download a coupon app like Capital One Shopping or Honey for your browser.
6. Make your lunch
If you are going out for lunch every day, you may be spending $50 to $100 per week on mid-day meals. Pack leftovers or a sandwich from home and you can cut your costs down to about $20 per week. That’s a lot of money for plane tickets, rental cars, and hotels.
7. Do date night differently
How much do you spend on an average date night with your partner? $50? Maybe $100? Try this challenge: Limit your date night budget to $25. Don’t think it’s possible? I bet you can get creative. To find the small food trucks in your city, check out the happy hour appetizer menu at your favorite restaurant and look into the local gallery openings and free museum nights you can visit. It’s easier to do than you may think.
If you're an active couple, consider having date night during the day and take a hike together to check out a new trail or park.
8. Drop your gym membership
Yes, you love to work out and stay fit, but how much does that cost you per month? Opt for working out at home. Buy a few free weights and head over to YouTube where you can find plenty of videos to keep you in shape and looking good throughout the year. And never underestimate the power of walking, running, and biking. These are easy cardio activities to do throughout the year, and they get you outside in the fresh air even on those brisk winter days.
9. Drink water
Do you know that liquid running out of your tap? It’s water, and it’s free. Cut out the soda and unnecessary juice in your life and enjoy that refreshing beverage you already pay for each month via your water bill. Don’t like the taste of water? Put a lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, or cucumber wedge in it. Your body will thank you, and so will your pocketbook.