Author – Amanda Christensen
Don’t you love long weekends? There’s something about that extra day off that has me itching to get out and go somewhere! Yellowstone National Park is my go-to spot. Driving through that pristine park with no cell phone service is my preferred method to “get away” for a while. However, those long Memorial/Labor Day weekend get-a-ways always end up costing a little more than expected. Help prevent those budget busters with these three fool-proof tips:
1) Tip: Automate 1%
- i. Automate 1% of your income into a separate account. This won’t seem like a huge cut on your income but will add up over time. You can draw on this money as needed to supplement extra costs on those long weekend trips.
2) Tip: Use the Step-Down Principle
- i. Envision a staircase with multiple steps. Now think of an area where you could cut back your spending (eating out, entertainment, etc.) what can you do to take 1 step down to spend less in that area? Put the money you would have spent into the separate account.
- ii. Examples: Go out to eat 1 time less. Stay in 1 night for free fun instead of going out for paid fun. Share 1 dessert, soda or entree instead of ordering two.
- iii. Does it really add up? Yes! Saving just $2.50 a day adds up to $17.50 in a week and $70 in a month! That’s a tank of gas!
3) Tip: Tax Return Time!
- i. It’s the time of year when we’re making decisions about what to do with that tax return money. While paying down debt or saving for retirement are key, it’s smart to take a bit of money and reward yourself. You may choose to put some money into your separate account for summer get-a-way expenses.
What other tips and tricks do you use to quickly stash some cash?
Amanda is an Extension Assistant Professor for Utah State University. She has a master’s degree in consumer sciences from Utah State and is proud to call herself an Aggie! Amanda loves teaching and enabling individuals and families to make smart money decisions. @FamFinPro.