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Saving Money to Go on Vacation

We flew to Paris and spent nine days for a mere $20. Wait. What? Yes, we really flew from Missouri to Paris, France and had a vacation of a life time on a $20 dollar bill. Now before you call me a liar, you should know it took 5 years of me putting a $20 dollar bill into our Paris account each week to get the $5,000 it took to cover all of our expenses.

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I know you are disappointed now, but stop and think about it for a moment. All you have to do is put a single $20 bill away each week and you, too, can have a vacation of a lifetime. It really is that simple and easy. You do not need to sell a kidney, get a second job, or stop giving to charity. Just deposit $20 a week into a savings account.

We flew to Paris, France and spent a glorious nine days in the city of romance. The balcony from our room gave us a perfect view of the Eiffel tower. The people, food, art, history, and atmosphere were intoxicating. Notre Dame, Louvre, Champs Elysee, and the world famous Cordon Bleu were just a few of the places we adventured to. A train ride through the country side to visit Versailles was breath taking. Eating at the world famous Le Train restaurant will forever be a highlight on our journey. Dining at cafes while people watching from the street was relaxing and addicting.Listening to the talented musicians in the subway was inspiring, but the strolls in the moonlight on the city streets made me feel that anything was possible.

Because I put $20 away each week, I didn't read about the Mona Lisa in an art book, I saw it in person. I stood in Napoleon's apartment. My husband kissed me on a bridge over the river as snow slowly fell from the European sky. I stood at Bob Marlee's grave, as well as, Chopin and countless other historical figures. I cooked food where Julie Child created feasts. I touched, tasted, smelled, saw, and heard the brilliance of a culture that touched my soul.

We still go to the beach each year and we have taken the kids to Disney World, because we budget for a family vacation each year. But, my $20 trip is our private time away from work, kids, and responsibilities. Going to McDonalds once a week, buying Starbucks before work, or a dream vacation? How do you want to spend $20 each week?

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10 More Solutions

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It's hard in any budget to save money, even if you make what is considered a good income, there seems to never be enough. Nothing is left over, especially for vacation. It's the time in all our lives when we have to make exceptions and get crafty without thinking day to day.

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A few years ago, I taught an "Introduction to the Internet" class for the Community Education Department of the local school district. The project I presented to the class was to "map out" the vacation of their dreams.

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Acquire a photo of your destination vacation spot and reduce the photo so that it fits in your wallet. Place it where you can see it each time you reach for your cash, credit card or check to make a purchase.

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My husband, son and I love to take a yearly weekend trip to Door County, WI. The last time we went, we were (as usual) on a tight budget. While we had fun, we got low on money a day or so before we went home, so we didn't get to go do or see some of the things we wanted to because of a lack of money.

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January 16, 2006

We have never been able to afford a vacation so my family of three have decided to put aside a little each month (equal amounts)...

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April 24, 2007

We save our change from one year to the next to take a vacation at Christmas to Pigeon Forge, Tenn (Dollywood). We rent a cabin for 14 of us, we've done this for 5 years and go ice skating and snowbowling.

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Our income and bills are always the same every month, we wanted to save money to go on a mini vacation and the only way to do it was to stop going out to eat everyday.

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I sell stuff on ebay and keep all the money in my paypal account. When I reach a thousand dollars, I withdrawl it and put it in a cd to earn interest at my bank. We also have two garage sales a year that fund our vacations.

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July 5, 2005

Take a empty coffee can and cut a slit in the plastic cover and place near the bathroom door. Tell every house member that there is a 25 cent cover to enter. Watch the cash build up over the year and then use it for vacation fun!

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I have a lot of vacations coming up soon that i need to save money for. The problem is I always have trouble saving it.

What are some ideas for saving my money and not spending it or reducing my expenses.

Answers

November 26, 20070 found this helpful

this is sooo sad but i ive it to my mother to hold and i am a grown 37 yr old woman but i tell hubby if we wanna save give it to her!! plus if i wanna go shopping i always go with her she never wants me to spend on things i want lol

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November 26, 20070 found this helpful

KimmyLynn: thats a good idea in my eyes cause I do the same thing for my daughter lol They took their first vaction ever
this summer. They couldnt save, somthing always happend or somthing came up they wanted more. This time they were determined to go! They kept bringing me money to lock away.
They only went to a indoor water but it was a big deal for them!! And they had a BLAST! :) Spent 2 days/nights in a hotel.. and the hotel had a problem and had to postpone them for 2 weeks.. and they got the whole deal for 50 percent off!! The money saved was used for nice suppers instead of
Burger king :) So, they were one happy family!! :)

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By kathy watson (Guest Post)
November 26, 20070 found this helpful

If you know you are going to be eating out a lot just pre-buy gift cards for the restaurants in the area you are traveling. They are a lot easier to hold on to than cash!

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By Ace (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful

You can always have a certain amount of your wages automatically to be direct-deposited into your savings account, so it can sit there out of the way until you are ready to go on your future vacation.

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November 29, 20070 found this helpful

Have it taken from your paycheck into a savings account before you even see it. Even only $5-$10 a week adds up by a years end. If you work OT or get a raise, it can be increased.

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By Julie (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful

Do a web search for the Department of tourism for the location you are vacationing to. There should be websites (or phone #'s you can call) to receive a booklet of coupons. I have done this for places like Gatlinburg, TN, Memphis, TN, and Myrtle Beach, SC. Just type in "department of tourism"+ and add the city you are travelling to in your search. Good luck, and have a great vacation!

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November 30, 20070 found this helpful

What my husband and I do is save our change, I know you've heard it a million times. We go beyond change and save 1's, 5's, and about 50% of 10's. We both know the goal of the money so we're never tempted to spend it. The money grows FAST!

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By Shana (Guest Post)
November 30, 20070 found this helpful

Link your checking account to an online bank, like INGDirect (many have decent rates, better that your brick and mortar bank). Signing up is fast and easy. Automatically have your online bank draw some money out each month in order to save. You won't see it, won't think about it too much, and you probably will leave it alone till you want to use it for the intended purpose. Begin little (Rome wasn't built in one day, and you don't give up caffeine all at once); eventually you can do a little bit more, until your ability to save becomes second-nature. Get a raise? Don't spend it! You did without it before, and you will be fine without it! Do one nice, inexpensive thing to have some fun, or upgrade your refrigerator (whatever is bugging you at home) and then save the rest. Eventually, saving will become a priority.

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By (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

Stay out of stores, then you won't be tempted. If you have to buy something, go in, buy only what you came for, then get out! If you're buying lunches at work, "brown bag" your lunches. Even Micky D's will run $6 or so and a sandwich, apple, and water from home will run maybe $2. $4 X 5 days = $20/week, $80/month, in 48 weeks you'll have $960.

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December 30, 20070 found this helpful

Search walmart's website for the towns you will be traveling to and through to see if there are any walmarts there that have gas stations. If they do, buy Walmart gift cards to use at their gas pumps. It will automatically save you 3 cents on every gallon. If you don't want to buy the cards ahead of time, when you find a walmart gas station, go into the store before getting the gas and buy your gift card on the spot then drive to the pumps to get your gas. We have an rv and in November, we saved $2.50 on one fill up by doing just that. Again, it may not seem like much, but it does add up.

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January 18, 20080 found this helpful

Pack a lunch for work every day. Don't eat out at restaurants, eat at home. Dial down your thermostat before you go to bed at night. When you go on vacation, take a cooler Fill it wit ice and buy stuff at the local grocery store to eat, and use your coupons while there.

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