Travel has been on my radar more than ever after I quit my job, went to FinCon15, and decided on some places I wanted to travel this year.
First, it’s just so much easier to travel now that I’m self employed. I don’t have to request time off, make sure I have enough vacation time saved up, etc.
The only downside I’ve found while trying to travel now is that I have to work like a crazy person beforehand to get ahead. And I can’t go anywhere without my computer.
I tried it once for a weekend trip and I felt like I had left behind my left arm. (Yes, left arm since I am left-handed.)
But the point is, now that I have travel on my mind more often, I finally decided to set up a travel savings fund earlier this year.
Why I Finally Set Up a Travel Savings Fund
Back in April, two of my girlfriends and I took a long-weekend and went to Colorado for some hiking and R&R. It was fun to get away from real life for a few days and enjoy time with friends.
One night while we were up laughing and talking instead of sleeping, we decided we are going to go on at least one “girls trip” each year. We talked about several places we want to go in coming years and then decided on New York for 2017.
I’ve been to NYC a couple of times, but neither of them have. I know NYC in particular can be expensive, so I didn’t want to have to cashflow the whole trip in one month like I did when we went to Colorado on an almost spur-of-the-moment trip.
The moment I got back home after our trip to Colorado, I set up a new travel savings fund and nicknamed it “New York”.
Update: These days, I just call it “Travel Fund” since I don’t always know where I’ll be going next. 🙂
How I’ll Use My Travel Savings Fund
I started funding my travel savings fund in June 2016 with $100/month. By the time we go to NYC in the spring, I should have almost $1,200 in that account. (Other than early withdrawals I’ll have to make for flights.)
My friends and I started pricing flights, hotels/Airbnbs, and the activities we want to do during our trip. We are planning to keep it pretty frugal. But, I know I’m going to spend on all.the.food while I’m there because hello?! it’s NYC! Plus, we all know that I love to eat out.
Whatever money I have left in my travel savings fund after paying for that trip will stay in that fund for my next adventure.
Why You Should Set Up Your Own Travel Savings Fund
I recommend setting up your own travel savings fund with a different bank than where you keep your regular one. There are a couple of reasons why.
1. Less Spending Temptation
I don’t know about you, but when I have extra money around I can always find a way to spend it, even if I had it ear-marked for some long-term goal.
Thus, it’s just easier to avoid spending temptation by having it in a separate account or separate bank so I don’t see how much I’ve socked away.
Opening a new account for your savings challenge will also help you keep your money organized. Remember, out of sight out of mind. So, you won’t be as tempted to dip into your savings account for something other than its intended use.
2. You Can Earn More Interest
If you keep money in a brick-and-mortar bank, chances are that you’re earning little to no interest on your money. Since saving for travel is a goal that will take several months (or more), it’s smart to keep your money in an account that can earn you interest.
Here are two I recommend.
Synchrony Savings has a rate of 2.05% with no minimum balance or monthly service fee. With a Synchrony Savings account, you can also transfer, deposit, or withdraw funds with their easy to use mobile app.
Barclays has a rate of 2.05% with no minimum balance. It can also be linked directly with any existing bank account to make things easy for you!
At this time, I don’t plan to use my travel savings fund for any business travel. I already save for that as part of my business savings each month already.
I’m so glad I finally took the first step at prioritizing travel by setting up a travel savings fund for my future trips. I know it will be a lot easier to make them happen when I have the money ready and waiting. Plus I won’t have to deal with any guilt over spending that money on something fun!
Do you have a travel savings fund?