5 Ways To Save For That Dream Holiday
- Credit: Archant
Dreaming of visiting exotic locations on a round-the-world trip or a new car but don’t have the budget to match? Financial expert Julie Wilson from Pen-Life Associates says actully these can be achievable with just a few changes to your lifestyle
Whatever your holiday dreams are, you’ve probably already resigned yourself to the fact that luxury holidays like these are reserved for millionaires.
Financial expert Julie Wilson from PenLife Associates says you’re wrong. Whether your financial aspirations are for a holiday, a new family home, a sports car, or just to be a bit more financially secure, then all of these things are easily achievable with just a few small changes.
Julie says: “The longer you deny taking responsibility for what is happening in your life right now, then the longer you will put off living the life you really want. So many people talk about wanting to change their lives, but only the very few are bothered to get up off their backsides and do something about it.”
“Once you know what your dream in life is, then you have identified your destination and you can begin to work out the route to get there. It’s not rocket science or some sort of mysterious secret for wealthy entrepreneurs. It is a list of simple things that you can all do, every day, to change your life for the better. You are good enough. You have so much potential inside of you, and you just have to realise it.”
1. Pay yourself first
This is so important, yet it’s something that most people miss, as their monthly salaries are eaten up by bills and household expenses. As soon as your wage comes in then take 10% and set it aside. Do this before anything else comes off, then you won’t even know it’s gone – it’s amazing how much you can save over the years, even if your salary isn’t massive to begin with.
2. Overhaul your accounts
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When was the last time you checked what direct debits were coming off each month? This simple step can save you hundreds of pounds each year, which is hard to believe, but true. Look for things like gym memberships which you no longer use, packaged account fees, or mobile phone insurance for old phones. There are also things to consider such as swapping your expensive TV subscription to a streaming service such as Netflix or Prime.
3. Something that’s been dubbed ‘The Latte Effect’.
This is the name I give to all the little daily expenses you don’t really notice, as they tend to be £5 or less. It could be your daily coffee from the barista, your lunch from the deli, newspaper delivery, or your kids’ school dinner money. Even if you only spend £5 for each week-day then this adds up to £1300 in a year. Imagine what you could do with the money instead! Try bringing a flask of coffee, and making your sandwiches at home and you’ll be surprised how much you save. It’s the small changes which add up to make a big difference.
4. You don’t get rich working for someone else
People often shy away from starting their own business because they are afraid of taking risks, and prefer the security of salaried employment. But, you will never know what’s on the other side of the cliff until you’ve had a look over the edge. Starting a business isn’t as scary as people believe, and you can even do it as a side-project in your free-time to see whether your idea is viable or not.
Entrepreneurs like Alan Sugar and Mark Zuckerberg weren’t given some sort of magic formula from the gods of business. They are just normal people like you or I, who happened to come up with a really good idea. Think about something you really enjoy doing, define the steps towards your goals, develop a business strategy, and map out your priorities.
5. Make your money work for you.
Having money in a cash savings account isn’t the best use of your money. Interest rates are awful, plus you may be paying more tax than you really need to. Your savings will actually lose value in real terms in the long run because of inflation, and they won’t be protected from tax either. Supposing you died suddenly, then your children or beneficiaries could be liable for 40% tax on money which you’ve worked hard to save, which is hardly fair, is it?
There are a number of ways to avoid paying tax which are perfectly legal. A lot of people don’t know this and effectively just end up throwing their money down the drain.
Julie Wilson is the director and co-owner of PenLife Associates Ltd. in York. In her career she has gone from growing up on a council estate and leaving school at 16, to running a multi-million-pound business, so she really does know what she’s talking about when it comes to money and finances. PenLife Associates provide independent financial planning and advice services, and cover insurance, investments, pensions and tax.
Adapted from Beyond The Park Gates by Julie Wilson and Sarah Smelik