Can’t take a break?

How to af­ford a fam­ily hol­i­day when money is tight

Central and North Burnett Times - - READ - with Jody Allen Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: stay­ath­ome­mum.com.au

ISERIOUSLY can not re­mem­ber the last hol­i­day I had, it seems like so long ago. With school costs, liv­ing costs and a mort­gage to pay, my money al­ways goes on all of the im­por­tant things in life, like eat­ing and pay­ing for a roof over my head.

But we all de­serve a nice hol­i­day – so I thought I’d share the re­search I have done on how to af­ford a fam­ily hol­i­day when money is tight.

★ Use lay-by to pay off a hol­i­day: Pay­ing off a hol­i­day with lay-by is such a smart idea, and I love it. Many travel com­pa­nies will now let you lay-by a hol­i­day months be­fore you go. This means you have a good pe­riod of time to be able to put a few dol­lars aside from ev­ery pay and put it to­wards a hol­i­day. Just make sure you check the fine print thor­oughly be­fore book­ing. ★ Set up a hol­i­day ac­count: I have set up a di­rect debit with my bank for things like rates and elec­tric­ity so I’m not stung with a huge amount when the ac­tual bill ar­rives. This same logic can be used to save for a hol­i­day. Just open a sep­a­rate ac­count and set up a di­rect debit for what­ever you want to put aside, and don’t touch it. You’ll find that it very quickly adds up.

Use hol­i­day deal sites: There are so many hol­i­day deal sites now in Aus­tralia that it is mind bog­gling. Pretty much all through the year they have dif­fer­ent spe­cials that al­low you to save big on your po­ten­tial hol­i­day. If you’re re­ally keen, then sign up to a cou­ple or sim­ply keep an eye on them and watch for sales.

★ Look at all-in­clu­sive pack­ages: When it comes to hol­i­days we of­ten bud­get for the big things only to be to­tally un­pre­pared for the many “lit­tle ex­tras’’ that you ac­crue. Food and bev­er­ages for ex­am­ple can be a mas­sive cost. The good news is there are all-in­clu­sive re­sorts all around that al­low you to prop­erly bud­get for your en­tire hol­i­day. Al­ter­na­tively, you could go on a cruise.

★ Book your hol­i­day re­ally late: This one is tough if you have kids, and there’s a risk in­volved for sure. Still, if you have some cash tucked away and know the places to go to save money for hol­i­days on short no­tice, wait­ing for the last-minute spe­cials is a great way to get up to 50% off the cost of your hol­i­day.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

◗ Bud­get­ing and plan­ning ahead can help you pay for that dream fam­ily hol­i­day. COOK­ING THE BOOKS: To save on food, rent a house or apart­ment and do your own cook­ing. Not eat­ing out three times a day will save a bun­dle.

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