Business / Personal Finance
Do you fantasise about jetting around the country, from one exciting destination to the next? Well pack your bags because exploring South Africa may be well within your reach this year!
Here are six tips for making your dream holiday a reality:
1. Pick a destination
You can’t save for a holiday if you don’t know where you are going, and if you don’t know where you are going, you can’t set a budget.
So, first things first – pick a destination. If you already feel like you live from pay cheque to pay cheque, choosing Cape Town as your holiday destination when you live in Johannesburg or Durban is not wise.
Save costs on airfare and car rentals by going local. For example, if you live in Johannesburg, the Magaliesberg is less than an hour’s drive away and the gorgeous mountains are guaranteed to take your breath away!
2. Find the best deals
Speak to your friends and family about their most cost-effective holidays, or trawl the internet for the best deals – but don’t forget to book directly on the hotel’s website as this is often cheaper than going through an online travel agent. Furthermore, if you don’t have kids, choose to travel outside of the school holidays or peak season as it is significantly cheaper. And, finally, remember that many of the bigger hotel groups offer early bird specials.
3. Set the budget
Once you have decided where you are going, you need to create a spreadsheet of all the approximate costs involved, including transport, accommodation, meals and activities. Once you have the amount needed (it won’t be totally accurate, but is a starting point), divide that amount by the number of months left before the trip and you’ll be able to see how much you need to save monthly to afford it.
4. Cut back and save
What do you currently spend on that is a non-essential? Now, before you say, “nothing”, consider interrogating your bank account to find things that you can cut back on.
For example, you can save up to R2,500 a month by simply cutting back on a daily work-day cappuccino.
Bringing lunch to work instead of running out to the shops can save you anything from R1,000 to R3,500. You can also save by shopping for groceries monthly instead of weekly, cutting back on non-essential subscriptions like Apple Music and satellite TV (reduce your package and save up to R300) and reviewing your current household/car insurance!
5. Reduce and re-sell
Organising consultant Marie Kondo says that if things don’t give you joy, then get rid of them. Go through your cupboards and sell what you no longer like, or need. But don’t just stop there. Go through each room in the house, and sell, sell, sell!
6. Open a separate bank account
Before you are tempted to spend your newly acquired cash, transfer it to a holiday savings account. If you’re not disciplined, consider setting up a debit order with your bank to transfer this amount into your holiday savings account monthly, as soon as your salary is paid.
That way you cannot forget to do it, and you also won’t be tempted to spend that money – out of sight, out of mind.
Lamont is managing director of First Group
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