We don’t have anything technically “official”, but we have talked about A LOT of places that we want to go and experience with the kids. Here are a few that top our list:
- Australia – We have family living there and while Mr. Mom Endeavors and I have been, we really want to take the boys! We’re hoping for about just a few years from now.
- Hawaii – We LOVED Hawaii for our honeymoon and desperately want to go back with the kids! Hopefully soon!
- Costa Rica – Rainforests & beaches? Yes, please!
- Disney Cruise – We’ve never been on a cruise before and with our love for Disney & 3 little kids, this seems like the way to go!
- Yellowstone – I’ve never been and would love to experience this with the kids.
- Europe – This is another one I would LOVE to do when the boys get older. I’ve been 3 times, but not since college. I would LOVE to do a family vacation there!
Travel is something that I absolutely love and want to share with my boys. But, the problem of course is that big vacations like this aren’t cheap – especially as a family of 5! So, we look for ways to save money to help fund our fun “travel bucket list”. Here are some of our money-saving tips:
- Ditch cable. (gasp) This is a big one for a lot of people. But, we actually haven’t had cable the entire time we’ve been married! We use an antennae to get the standard air-wave channels. Sure, we miss having ESPN & the Big 10 Network during College Football season and Discovery Channel during Shark Week (among other things). But, with the average cable bill in the US being over $80/month (often times over $40 even for basic packages), that adds up REALLY quickly. By not having cable, we’ve saved almost $10,000 over the last 10 years — think about the AWESOME vacation you could take with that!
- Quit the coffee run/fast food drink stops. Sure, many of us love a special Starbucks coffee or Sonic drink, but at $2-$5 a drink that can really add up quickly! Cut back and put the money you would have spent there right into your trip bucket! Then, splurge on a special treat on your vacation!
- Buy kids’ clothes second hand. I’m ALL for cute clothes on the boys – and matching is even better. But, quite a few of their clothes are actually second hand. You can save SO much money this way! Shop garage sales, hit the children’s consignment stores, or even swap with friends.
- Use coupons. I’m not couponing like I used to a few years ago, but I still use coupons quite often. Before ordering anything online, search to see if there is a coupon code! Download the coupon apps to your phone or anything else that makes it easy for you to remember! A dollar here, 40% off there– it really does make a difference!
- Have a change jar. We put almost all of our change in a large jar – a family piggy bank of sorts. It’s a great visual for the kids to see the money adding up in there. Before big vacations, take the jar to your bank or credit union and cash the change in. My parents just did this with a large bottle and it had over $500 in it!!
- Get a rewards card. We don’t carry a credit card balance, but using credit cards that have travel rewards (like airline miles) or cashback rewards can really be helpful. Just be sure to investigate the fees associated and make sure you’re getting the best deal!
- Start a travel savings account. Open a separate savings account just for travel or your dream trip! Put in the money that you’re saving by giving up your drink habit, cable, or eating out. Then, add in just an extra $1 or $2 each day! Over the course of just one year, you could see a good amount of money in that account!
- Eat out less. This is one area that we really need to improve on! Feeding our family of 5 at a fast food restaurant is totaling around $30 and eating at a sit down restaurant can easily be $40-$60 for our family! Doing that a couple of times a week adds up to A LOT of money! But, shaving just $20 off your weekly food bill can save you over $1000 a year!
So, do some investigating and see where you might be able to save some money. Sit down, review your budget and challenge yourself to find $20, $50, $100, (really, any amount) that you can save monthly. To help you do that, SunTrust Bank has an awesome Budget Spreadsheet! It can help you with your goals and planning for whatever bucket list(s) you might have!
To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.