Fund Your Next Family Holiday By Cutting Out These 7 Costs
You can scrimp and save money virtually everywhere, but the real money is saved by…simply not spending money. If you’re looking at your family’s holiday fund and don’t like what you see, it might be time have a re-think about where your money is going. If you adopt a more hands-on approach to your money and cut out a few senseless purchases, you’ll soon see that money pot grow. Take note: the seven expenditures below have nothing to do with living frugally. They’re all expendable luxuries!
An entire week’s budget can be blown just by adopting a “devil may care” attitude for one night. Staying in a fancy hotel, eating at a top-end restaurant, or just choosing a complex cocktail over your usual tipple can cost big bucks, and you won’t get much more than if you’d just done your usual thing. Why? Because levels of comfort plateau at a certain point. The cost begins to rise as the difference between ‘quality’ and ‘being flashy’ widens. You’ll have the same level of food at a mid-level restaurant as you would a top-level restaurant, but you’ll spend much less money.
Those Minor Car Repairs
Everyone has car issues from time to time. When your car isn’t working as it should, you take it to a mechanic, right? Well, not so fast. Easy the most basic of repairs can cost a pretty penny, and what’s more is that you can probably fix it yourself. People have the misconception that car repairs are beyond them, when in fact you can learn basic car repairs just through online tutorials alone. If there’s a genuine, serious problem with the engine then sure, take it to the garage. But if it’s just a minor complication, then you should fix it yourself.
Upgrading Your Technology
Unnecessarily upgrading a perfectly fine phone is one the biggest wastes of money we can think of. In fact, your current phone doesn’t even have to be working fine for it to be a waste of money. You can replace your iPhone screen if it’s cracked, and most other problems can be fixed too. Some people upgrade automatically even there is no damage, but it’s not worth it. Sometimes, the difference in features is so slight that you’re only buying the device out of habit: put the money into the family holiday fund instead.
If you have a cable package with all the trimmings included, then it’s time to cut the cord. You don’t need it. You can get everything you would get from cable television via other means, and it won’t cost you anywhere near as much. You’ll still be able to catch up on your favorite shows and movies, but you’ll also be adding a lot of money to your savings pot. The average cable bill in America is more than $100: wouldn’t saving $1200 a year be nice?
It’s also tempting to rush out to the stores and buy the latest fashions when a new season is upon us, but it’s worthwhile restraining yourself. If you look back at what you were wearing, say, eight years ago, you would probably think ‘what was I thinking wearing those clothes?’ Well, newsflash: you’ll probably think the same in eight years in the future, too. Instead of dropping a whole month’s wages outfitting your wardrobe with the latest and best fashions, invest in a few quality items that will last the distance.
We’re all guilty of buying presents for the sake of buying presents, especially at Christmas. All those little stocking fillers, expensive gifts for relatives we don’t see, and so on. Instead, just say no. If you know someone in your family really wants something, then buy it – but if you’re choosing a gift that they might like just because you think you have to buy them something, then it’s best left on the shelf. American families across the country go into significant debt during the holidays, and it’s mostly because they buy things that just aren’t necessary.
Just like with your car, you should not be paying a professional to take care of every slight issue you have in the home. We know you’re busy – everybody is – but there’s real value in doing the simple DIY tasks yourself. You’ll learn new skills and keep money in your back pocket too. When you’re all heading off on your family adventure next year, you’ll be glad that you took the time to learn the skill!