It’s almost that time of the year once again when you’ll be literally spending some time off with family or loved ones on a holiday budget you’ve carefully worked out for about half a year ago (or more). You’ve ironed out your accommodation with much care and consideration of the costs; you’ve gone above and beyond in saving up and planning an intricate budget for your holiday expenses. What more can be said? You’ve done a great job at handling your responsibilities right from your end.
While the money you’ve allocated for your holiday escapade is surely no small thing, you’ve still got everything under control so long as you stay clear from the sparkling signs that read SALE and if you take note of the following tips to make sure that you don’t leave any holes where your money is concerned, most especially during the holidays – your much needed time-off from the real world.
6 Ways to Save Money Back Home while Spending the Holidays
- Take care of your bills and outstanding loan balance.
First things first. Whether you treat your vacation as a time off or an escape from all the busyness from your work and daily life, do not set aside your duties especially when it comes to paying your bills and loans. Credit card bills sit on top of the list. Neglecting your dues and deadlines until your return will only bring about some unpleasant surprises in the form of biting interests and late payment fees. Needless to say, this holds true for your bank loans, too.
- Plan for the care of the kids and/or pets in advance.
Going on planned vacations does not strip you of your responsibilities as a parent or a pet owner. Part of your responsibilities is to plan for the care of those who depend on you (e.g. kids and/or pets, sometimes, even aged parents) while you’re away on vacation.
When leaving them to the care of other people such as family and relatives, be sure to be specific as per your return and what their roles are while you’re gone. This could mean picking up the kids from school at a certain time and/or giving your pets their weekly baths (if they ever do!). Of course, these people have their own lives too so you can’t just expect them to cover everything for you in a heartbeat. This, too, needs careful planning, and sometimes a sit-down meeting is called for to make sure both parties understand the details of the tasks that need to be done for the time you’ll be away. Sharing important numbers such as the children’s paediatrician or the pets’ go-to clinic might come handy in emergency situations, but maintaining open communication is far more crucial in these types of situations. Failure to settle these terms could mean an added expense for a pet-sitter or a nanny to look after the kids at home.
- Put your memberships and subscriptions on hold for the time being.
Any form of monthly subscriptions or membership passes/classes are no good while you’re away for more than a week or two. The least you can do is to check with your provider/s if they can put your subscription temporarily on pause or on hold until you return. That way, you can easily avoid the problem of incurring fees or charges for the days you won’t be using the services you’ve signed up for.
If the above options aren’t available for you, then you can have a relative or a friend benefit from these services on your behalf. For example, if you’ve already paid for gym access for one whole month, ask a friend if he can go on your stead, tell him – your treat!
- Deal with work stuff beforehand.
Much of the planning for a vacation involves sorting out work-related stuff. Plan your vacation in such a way that you won’t be expecting any calls from your boss because that’s the whole point of your vacation, isn’t it? For this to be possible, carefully identify what needs to be taken care of in the days or weeks you’ll be gone. Give clear instructions as to who will cover what in your absence and make sure you address all issues and concerns that may need clarification or additional details rather than just plain common sense. Lastly, set your out-of-office e-mail message for your leave dates so that the people you deal with on a regular basis are well-informed and can adjust their expectations and work timelines accordingly. By doing so, it leaves a good impression on your bosses and colleagues regarding your professionalism and thoroughness as an employee despite the reality of your absence.
- Return books and DVDs on rent.
As you clean the clutter at home for your trip, be sure to return any book or DVD on rent to avoid accruing fines for them while you’re away. Take the time to plan and schedule your visit to the rental store or library days or even a week before you leave for your vacation. Failure to do so would mean an added expense for the due dates you’ve missed for these borrowed items.
- Unplug your appliances to cut down your electric bill.
Once you’ve taken out the trash, cleared the clutter and returned all borrowed items, the last thing to do is to unplug your appliances if no one will be left at home to use these. For example, you can unplug your modem or internet router as well as your refrigerator to give these appliances a break from their daily use – just make sure you clear out the fridge and the freezer to keep food items from spoilage.
Going on a vacation entails careful planning through and through. If you want to budget your expenses for the holidays, don’t forget the small things you can do to save money at home. This is the best way to enjoy your time off relaxing and with complete peace of mind.