How to create a trip budget - and stick to it

(CottageCountry.com)

(CottageCountry.com)

CottageCountry.com

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

The thought of booking a vacation can put your mind at ease but while youíre daydreaming of being dockside, your wallet could be cringing. It doesnít have to be that way though, and a vacation doesnít have to break the bank. Small changes to your spending and budgeting behaviours can really add up.

Save your change:

Lighten the financial burden of travelling, and your pockets too by dropping all the loose change from wallets, pockets and purses into a jar at the end of every day. This spare change will go unmissed, and with our loonies and toonies in coin format, your travel jar will add up quickly. At the end of the month, count the coins and roll them to see where you stand with the total.

Kick the coffee habit:

Do you know much money you spend on coffee ever day? Probably not. That two-dollar morning coffee, or the more expensive coffee concoctions that we often get in the later afternoon, is just a habit that can be broken. Itís actually easier to make coffee at home than to stand in a long morning line up, and using a travel mug can save you time and money.

Brown bag it:

I know leftovers arenít always fun, but instead of letting leftovers just sit in the fridge, package them up and bring them for lunch. Cut the cost of buying lunch everyday and instead, make it a treat that you use to reward yourself once a month. To make it easier on you in the morning, prepare your lunch the night so that youíre doing the Ďgrab ní goí from your fridge Ė not from a store.

Get to know your bank:

Set up a separate account at your bank that automatically transfers a set amount of money from your usual daily bank account into an untouchable savings account. You can set up this account to make this transfer daily, weekly or monthly, in whatever amount you think you wonít miss. Once itís done, youíll forget about it and before you know it, youíll have a travel fund that can get take you places.

Save with a friend:

Create a support system with a friend or two so that you can save money together and keep each other motivated. You and your budget-buddies can take turns hosting a movie night in instead of going out. Making dinner together and sharing popcorn can be just as fun as spending money at a restaurant and theatre.

Itís the small changes that will make the biggest difference over all, so donít be afraid to start saving now. Your vacation or getaway doesnít have to leave you with an empty wallet.

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