Finance | 2 December 2021

Summer Savings: How to Holiday on a Budget

by Carlisle Homes

Saving for a house? Stay on track with this budget guide for the holidays.

Summer’s almost here. With lockdown easing, and domestic borders set to open in time for Christmas, it’s time to relax and have some fun.

However, if you’re saving for a house, don’t let all that hard work go to waste. Here’s how you can holiday on a budget and keep the home-owning dream on track.

Plan ahead to prioritise the experience

After months of lockdown, most of us never want to hear the word ‘staycation’ ever again. At the same time, unprecedented demand for domestic holidays has seen price rises across the country. If you’re planning to travel, you might need to get a little creative.

  • Consider asking friends and family to gift you experiences rather than objects this year. Whether it’s a spa day, movie vouchers or that once-in-a-lifetime sky diving experience, your Christmas will feel all the richer for the memories you make. And bonus: when you do reach your goal and move into your brand new home, there’ll be less to pack!
  • Camping or caravanning is always cheaper than a hotel stay. Have a look around for secondhand camping gear to save even more money (just check for leaks!) or rent a caravan or camper van. Budget for campsite fees, which can be as low as $10 per night for a basic campsite, $40-$50 for a powered site, and up to $100 for all the bells and whistles.
  • For day trips, you can save a lot of money simply by packing your own food and drink. Water parks, cinemas and resort towns can mean high prices for refreshments, so plan ahead and save.

Camping and caravanning are perfect ways to get away for cheap, or have plenty of fun pitching a tent in your own backyard!

Keep the kids entertained

If you have children, you already know that keeping them entertained for the long summer holiday can be tricky. It’s tempting to throw money at the problem and book an all-inclusive resort holiday. If that’s not in your budget, however, try the following:

  • Vicswim is a 5-day summer swim programs that are open to all ages and swimming levels from 4-year-old beginners to teenagers wanting to increase their ocean safety skills. And because they’re heavily subsidised by the government, they’re much cheaper than most swimming lessons at just $35 plus a small entry fee to the pool.
  • Camp in your own back yard! If space allows, you can have plenty of fun by pitching a tent on the lawn and telling stories long after dark. You probably won’t be able to have a campfire in summer, but don’t underestimate the charm of a barbecued marshmallow after your hotdogs!
  • Get out in the great outdoors with low- or no-cost activities like geocaching. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt, and all you need is a GPS-enabled device. Geocachers hide objects in a huge range of locations, from your local park to a hidden crevice at the top of a mountain. All you have to do is load a geocaching app and go hunting! You can either find-and-replace (just log the discovery for your own records) or replace the object with something of equal or greater value. Start here.

Keep the kids happy during the holidays by coming up with creative ways to keep them entertained without having to spend money on activities and resort holidays.

Keep Christmas cheap and cheerful

If you’re hosting a Christmas celebration, keep things economical by:

  • Switching high-cost food for cheaper options that pack a flavour punch. Roast chicken and a honey glazed ham are crowd pleasers that go a long way. If Christmas pudding is too stodgy for you, a Christmas ice cream can be surprisingly low cost and very popular. Take advantage of the fact that Christmas lands in summertime and serve in-season fruit like cherries, peaches and mango for a luxury spread without the price tag. Discover your essential guide to the best backyard entertaining here.
  • Suggesting a Kris Kringle instead of a gifting free-for-all. Each adult is assigned a giftee and a budget. You can spend your time picking out a single thoughtful gift, instead of running around the shops laden with parcels and wrapping paper. Most people will welcome the chance to avoid extra clutter.

Planning a holiday on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrifice. The most important thing is that you have fun with family and friends. Read more on how to maximise an outdoor lifestyle here.

Keep your gatherings for family and friends economical by opting for lower cost food and by starting a Kris Kringle to avoid overspending and clutter.

Want some support to plan for your new home? Speak to one of our partners at Loan Studio on how to get into your new dream home faster. Or explore the Finance section of our Home Files blog for more tips and tricks on saving for your dream home.

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