Maybe you’re one of those people that happen to live in an area where home daycare is a hot commodity and pays big bucks. Around here though, my daycare brings in a low income compared to other working moms. Here’s how I managed to pull off a beach vacation with my less-than-average payday.
How to Afford a Vacation When You Own a Daycare
Start by narrowing down your vacation ideas.
If you’re going to the beach, will you be renting a house, a condo, a hotel? Or are you going all out with a trip to Disney and need to include air fare?
Figure out what you are wanting to do on vacation and how much you’ll need to save to get you there.
Fortunately for me, my husband works as well. But I know a lot of daycare providers who are single moms, and money is often tight.
So maybe going to Disney isn’t realistic for you. That’s ok.
You can still vacation with proper planning! A break from your daily responsibilities is good for you now and then!
So just reel in the brainstorming. Maybe you need to save for a little longer before saving for your dream vacation. Or you could try a more local place to stay – maybe camping or a day trip to a lake. Water parks and zoos are also great places to spend a day off with your family.
You can even do a stay-cation! Invest in something new for the home the whole family can enjoy and take some time off just to be together.
Pay Your Other Bills First
As great as the beach sounds, don’t let it take away from your regular bills or setting aside for taxes. That’s just going to bite you in the booty later. Pay things in order.
Cut Back Where You Can
Pay the bills, but see if you can’t cut back a little here and there to help free up some funds!
I’m not saying you need to ditch cable or your smart phone. But making the switch from a grocery store chain to a store like Aldi can save a ton! It’s also a great idea to get insurance quotes from time to time. Search for some frugality blogs and you’ll find tons of better ideas than I can give you!
My favorite way to cut back when we don’t have a lot of spending money is by grabbing free Kindle books! I love love love my Kindle Paperwhite and I subscribe to BookBub.com for a weekly newsletter filled with free Kindle books! Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can get the app on your phone or tablet and still read free books.
Set Aside a Weekly Amount
For our family, we set aside $40 a week for a year-ish for our vacation. This covered the truck cover we wanted to get before we left, plus our fuel, meals, and lodging.
Obviously, that’s not going to be a realistic amount for everyone. So figure out how much you need for vacation and how many weeks you have until you start packing.
Divide the $ by the # of weeks and see if the number you get is something you can reasonably set aside each week without starving.
Then just get cash back, or take it from the ATM or whatever you do, and stick it in an envelope marked VACATION.
Do it immediately so you don’t end up spending it on something else! Trust me on this 😉
Save Every Extra Penny!
Maybe you have a certain kid an extra day this week. Put that money in your envelope!
Or maybe you sold some stuff in a Facebook group. Put that money in your envelope!
You could offer a “date night” babysitting service one evening a month in your home. Put that money in your envelope!
Are you getting the idea? These things all add up and really helped us be able to relax on our vacation instead of worrying about what we were spending.
My Money Bible
I’ll admit, I’ve read my share of self-help books. This book is one of my favorites. It’s realistic about getting out of the cycle of debt and is a great motivator.
We haven’t followed the plan laid out in this book word for word, but it has made a huge difference in the way we deal with our money. My husband and I have used the principles in this book to pay off all of our student loans by the time we turned 25. Check it out!
Everyone deserves a vacation now and then! I hope these tips that have worked for us work for you, too. Do you have any questions about the way I save for vacation? Any tips of your own to add? Comment below!