Dear 3Rivers: How Long Will it Take Me to Save for Vacation?
I've been wanting to take an extended, European vacation for ages now. The ballpark cost will be $3,000 - that's including transportation, food, hotels, etc. I've already saved up $750 but that's taken me several months. Using a 3Rivers Standard Savings Account and setting aside a good chunk of change a month, how long will it take me (with interest, inflation) to reach my goal? Any tips?
What an exciting goal to be saving for! Kudos on already saving up $750 - that's a great start. The main question is this: Exactly how much are you setting aside a month? Consistency is key to determining exactly how long it'll take you to reach a major savings goal. If you're tossing $50 in savings one month and $100 the next, it'll be hard to calculate the date at which you'll reach your goal.
We highly recommend giving this calculator a try - you can play around and see how long it'll take you with different amounts saved monthly. Let's say you're able to set aside $100 a month. At 24 months, you'd have saved over your goal by about $100. Contribute $75, and it would take you about 30 months to hit $3,000. | Try Calculator Now
As for additional tips...
Start an Emergency Fund
Before you start contributing huge amounts towards your saving goal, we strongly suggest you have an emergency fund in place. Experts recommend having 3 to 6 months worth of income set aside in the event of unexpected medical issues, job loss, or, in your case, travel emergencies. | Related: How to Start an Emergency Fund
Create a Budget
If you haven't already, creating a budget will help you to determine how much you can comfortably set aside in savings for your trip monthly. A household budget is incredibly important, regardless of your lifestyle or financial situation, so take some time to map it out! | Related: How to Create a Budget
If your goal is to save quickly, then you're probably willing to tighten up your budget and lessen your everyday spending to make it happen. Try cutting costs at the grocery and on your monthly bills. This might mean some downsizing is in order. Find ways to slash the cost of your TV and phone bills, and try budget-friendly DIY projects for your home. | Related: How to Save on a Tight Budget, Live on $50 a Week
Supplement Your Income
Once you've mastered the art of saving, bring in more money to save! Doing so doesn't always require picking up a second job - although if you can fit that into your schedule, then by all means, give it a go for some stable additional income. However, don't forget to consider other options, like turning your hobby into a side income, selling your gently used items, tutoring, freelancing, or donating plasma. | Related: Supplement Your Income Without Getting a Second Job
There are plenty of ways to save on travel - from the time you start planning and booking through your return home. Practice being as thrifty as possible when it comes to transportation, accommodation, sightseeing, and more. | Related: Top Ten Travel Tips, 10 Money-Saving Travel Tips, On Being a Thrifty Tourist
Please get in touch with us if you need more advice on saving for your big trip! We can't wait to hear all about it.
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