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If you want to travel the world—or even if you just want to take advantage of those well-earned vacation days—a budget doesn’t have to get in your way. That being said, financial setbacks can definitely make the booking process a little more daunting. And making sure you only take a vacation once you’re financially comfortable can help you avoid stress in the long run. So how do you make room in your wallet for wanderlust?

There are tons of things you can do to make your money stretch as long as you reconsider your priorities, plan, and carefully choose each item on your itinerary with an agreed upon budget in mind.

What To Sacrifice While Saving Up

>If you’re on a tight budget, you may have to make some small sacrifices while saving up for bigger transportation and accommodations. It’s important to “challenge yourself to cut back on the intangibles that drain your account so you can start allocating that money toward a vacation budget,” O’Keeffe Merrick reminds us. And this will probably be a lot easier when the reward is a hammock on some faraway beach or visiting friends in a city you’ve always wanted to see.

“There are a million things to sacrifice, but here are some easy ones: beverages,” O’Keeffe Merrick recommends. Think about how much money you’d save if you started making coffee and tea at home, and cut back even just a little on juices, smoothies, bottled water, and alcohol. Get creative, and think about what’s the most realistic thing to cut for your lifestyle. For some, this might mean limiting taxis and ride shares, and for others, it might mean no more workout classes, eating out, and paying for cable.

Consider the Adult Piggy Bank

The little stuff really does add up. So where do you put that extra money you’ve been saving while not splurging on transportation, beverages, and costly outings? Rather than following a super-strict budgeting rule while you’re saving up for a trip, O’Keeffe Merrick believes in using a more flexible approach. For example, the 50/30/20 might be a little unrealistic for some incomes and needs. If you aren’t familiar with this, 50% of your earnings go toward rent and whatever else you consider “essential” to your lifestyle, 30% is spent on “fun” things, and 20% is put away in savings. But it can be hard to differentiate between the categories.

“I always recommend to my clients that they should have a bucket where they put money aside and earmark it for” something like a vacation. “This is a guilt-free way to spend” while you’re on the “vacation because this money has already been allotted to vacation” specifically, she says. Think of it like an adult piggy bank. You can only use it for a specific thing, and you don’t have to put aside a specific percentage of your earnings, since lifestyles and necessities may vary month-to-month.

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