Home LifeStyleFinance There’s still time to save for your summer holiday

There’s still time to save for your summer holiday

by Tania Griffin

Dreaming of a relaxing getaway this December, but worried that you haven’t put any money aside yet? Shaun Lamont, managing director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, says that with some clever budgeting and a few small sacrifices, you can still make your December holiday happen!

He shares seven practical ideas that could kickstart your journey to achieving your well-deserved break:

1. Choose a nearby destination: Selecting a destination is essential for creating a budget and saving for your holiday. Opt for a nearby location if you’re on a tight budget, such as the Magaliesberg (if you live in Gauteng), which is less than an hour’s drive from Johannesburg and offers stunning mountains and breathtaking views.

2. Hunt for the best deals: Ask friends, colleagues and family for cost-effective holiday ideas or search the Internet for great deals. Booking directly on a hotel’s website is often cheaper than going through an online travel agent. Keep an eye out for ‘early-bird’ specials offered by larger hotel groups like First Group, which offers up to 15% discount when booking 90 days in advance – with only a R1 000 deposit required.

3. Create a budget: Assess your current financial situation and set a clear budget for your trip. Account for travel, accommodation, activities and other expenses. Realistically determine how much you need to save each month for the next few months. The secret to success is not earning more, but spending less.

4. Cut unnecessary expenses: Take a moment to reflect on your spending habits. Look closely at your bank statement to identify non-essential expenses that can be trimmed down (start with downgrading your bank account). Consider skipping that daily cappuccino, and you could save R2 500 per month. Bringing lunch to work instead of buying can save you anywhere from R1 000 to R3 500. Opt for monthly grocery shopping rather than weekly trips, take advantage of specials, and minimise any unnecessary luxuries. Stay away from the shops as much as possible to avoid temptation.

Additionally, cut back on entertainment and re-evaluate subscriptions like Spotify or Apple Music (save up to R59) and satellite TV (downgrade your package and save up to R300!). Don’t forget to review your current household and car insurance for potential savings, too.

5. Sell unused items: Turn clutter into cash by identifying and selling items you no longer need. Host a garage sale or sell items online to generate additional money for your December holiday. Remember, every R10 counts!

6. Automate savings: After calculating the amount you can save by cutting back, set up an automatic monthly transfer to a dedicated savings account specifically for your holiday fund. By doing this, a portion of your income will be securely set aside before any temptation to spend on lunch or cappuccinos arises.

7. Travel with friends or family: Finally, consider travelling with friends or family members and share the costs. Group travel can lead to significant savings on accommodation, transport and food – besides being a whole lot of fun!

“Refine your budget and savings plan as you progress, and with consistency and discipline, you’ll be sipping cocktails poolside, making lasting, magical memories with loved ones, and basking in the joy of your well-deserved December getaway,” Lamont concludes.

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