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How I’m Tricking Myself into a Vacation

February 15, 2012

Or maybe I should call this “How I’m tricking myself into saving for a vacation”.  If you read this post, you will know that I am all for the best deal when it comes to travel.  But because of that, I usually never have the money saved ahead of time.  I just tend to book a trip and then deal with the financial piece later. 

However, since I am about to finish grad school, and themassiveamount of student loans I have looming (yeah, private universities!) has made me start thinking about how I’m going to continue my wandering ways while being a responsible debt-paying adult.  I know I will not be able to balance both a monthly student loan payment and a large-ish credit card payment.  And what happens if my car breaks down?  Or my house falls apart?  Ugh, thinking about this makes me nauseous.

Enter the PayCard.  One of my co-workers had mentioned around September that she has this PayCard – a perk offered by my company that allows you to put a portion of each paycheck onto a Visa card that can be used anywhere.  She uses it to save for Christmas presents throughout the year, and then doesn’t have to face that ugly credit card bill every January.  And by only taking a little bit from each paycheck, she doesn’t even notice.

I already use direct deposit to put a portion of my paycheck into a savings account.  My “emergency” account has been great for paying for car repairs, plumbers, extra payments on my credit cards (yeah, trips to Mexico/Vegas/DC!), and even Christmas presents.  But I really don’t want it to be my travel savings account.  I really want to save money specifically for use on a trip.  So… PayCard!

I am currently putting just $45 per paycheck on the PayCard, but I did the math and that adds up to almost $1,200 over the course of a year.  That’s a trip to Mexico AND half of a trip to Vegas!  (or at least it is based on what I spent on my last trips).  And considering I want to go to Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Vegas, Ireland, and Paris in the remainder of 2012, I think it is a good start! 🙂

(I know I won’t actually get to go to all of those places this year… but you’ve got to dream big to make big things happen!)

Does anyone else have a special travel savings fund?  Where do you want to go with it?

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