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5 Budgeting Tips To Visit Your Family On Holidays
Perhaps you're studying away from home and really want the cash to fly home in the winter to see your family. Maybe spring break is approaching, and you can't wait until summer before seeing your parents or siblings. You may have moved away permanently from your home country, but find it comforting to return home every now and then for a visit.
Or maybe this time, you're taking the time to fly over to family who have moved away to a different country. Whatever your reasons for visiting family during the holidays, you'll want to make the most out of it.
In order to do so, it's a good idea to get some money behind you so that you spend less time stressing about the little money that you have and more time to enjoy your family.
1. What do you need?
When you're out shopping in the run-up to going away to visit family, think more about what you really need rather than what you want. It's amazing how much money we can waste just by purchasing things we don't really need.
It's nice to treat yourself every now and then, but remember that if you want the money to travel to your family, you need to cut back somewhere. You can also apply this thinking to when you book your flights and the trip. If you don't need extra luggage, don't take any.
This will save you money to spend in other areas, and you will just have to sacrifice by packing light this time.
2. Carefully watch what you spend
If you seem to be losing money without really knowing where it is going, you need to look a little more closely at your spending habits. Many people go out and spend a few dollars on things they don't need or don't think about, and if you're doing this every day, you'll start to see your bank balance drop significantly.
If you're studying, this will be an even bigger problem, since money is likely to be tight already. Start recording everything that you spend and look at it at the end of the week. You might be pleasantly surprised that you haven't spent much, but you might also be shocked at how much cash you've managed to blow. Whatever your reaction at the end of a week, you can start to make some positive changes in order to save more money.
Recording your spending habits might also help you to cut back more and stop spending as much.
3. Look out for good deals
This applies to your trip and flights when you book them, but it should also apply to your everyday shopping. If you take the time to look around, you will see all sorts of deals, discounts and vouchers that you can get your hands on.
Even if they only allow you to save a couple of dollars off your food bill, just imagine how much money you could save over the course of a year if you started doing this now! Don't wait for discounts to come to you – search the internet and try to find them yourself.
Whether it's something as simple as free shipping on your online purchases, or you've managed to bag yourself 10% off your bills this month, it's more money in your bank account!
4. Don't be generous with the bills
People like to live comfortably, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, you can make simple changes around your home that will allow you to live with as much comfort as you need while also shaving off some dollars from your household bills. For example, be careful with the electricity that you are using.
In the winter months, wear thicker clothes rather than turning up the heating. Avoid taking many baths in the week – use the shower more in order to conserve water. Don't leave the taps running while brushing your teeth, and fill a washing bowl to wash the dishes each time you've finished a meal. When the weather is warm, you can hang your clothes outside to dry rather than using the dryer.
These small changes will enable you to save some money on your bills, and you can use this extra cash for your flights or to enjoy yourself when you visit your family.
5. Consider small loans as a last resort
Not everybody has the means to save up some money to go and visit their families during the holidays. You might find that you're already struggling to get your bills any lower than they are, and it just seems impossible to save any money in other areas. If this happens to you, you're not alone. It doesn't mean that you cannot visit your family either, because there are many loans that you can borrow in order to cover your expenses.
You should always make sure that you can repay the loan once you return from your trip, however. Payday or installment loans can be taken out online and the money will normally be deposited into your bank account within the same day. This makes it easy to use as a final resort, since you don't have to plan months ahead before taking it out.
You can apply online the day before you leave for your trip if you like, which makes them very flexible options if you've ran out of money.