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How to Save for Memorable ‘Together’ Experiences

How to Save for Memorable ‘Together’ Experiences

Quick question: which of the following do you most remember – the last birthday gift your daughter and family gave you, or spending the day with them all at the beach? Sure, the examples won’t be quite the same, in your case, but you get the drift. The thing is, material gifts are appreciated (usually), but their time in the limelight quickly fades. Experiences, however, make memories that can last forever. So why is it we cling to buying stuff for our loved ones instead of planning ahead for fun-filled, shared experiences?

Part of the reason is we all want to acknowledge and celebrate those we care about. But hey, grown-ups (and even teens and tweenies, for that matter) can delay gift gratification, and be just as happy with a card, cake, and candles on their special day. Especially when they know they and their family (or friend-group) are foregoing gift-giving to save for a special experience they can share together.

With cooler months approaching, there’s even more reason to set aside expensive celebrations in favour of saving for the ultimate experience of travel. Warmer parts of the country (and the globe, for that matter) are beckoning, and when you and your family or friends make a joint commitment to save together to get there, you can do it! Whether it’s by being creative with gift-giving, or finding other, everyday ways, to put the pennies in the jar, a shared destination experience is within reach. Here are some tips on how to make it happen:

Downsize the gift-giving

Gather together to celebrate special occasions as usual, but ask guests to bring a game, a joke, or a memorable photo to share, rather than a gift. Or agree beforehand to give only recycled or op-shop gifts (these are always appreciated as they can be enjoyed for a time, then recycled all over again).

DIY gift card

Research the destination you and your friends or family are saving to head for, and identify free experiences you’ll find there. These can include galleries, museums, farmers markets, day walks, or a great snorkelling beach. Make a gift card promising this treat, and give it to the person you’re celebrating, along with the promise you’ll be responsible for making it happen!

Healthy alternatives

Takeaways aren’t cheap, and the cost of cafe food is skyrocketing. Make a commitment with family and friends to skip the weekly treat in favour of a pot luck meal, or coffee at your travel group members’ homes. Have a jar at the ready, and ask everyone to bring along the money they’ve saved to pop into it. Each week, take the jar to the home you’re meeting in, and tally up your holiday destination savings!

Start a travel bank account

Saving is more likely to happen when commitment is guaranteed, and regular. Set up a destination bank account, and get everyone in your travel group to commit to an amount to direct credit into it on a weekly basis. Make it fun and achievable, by asking everyone to say how they intend to make the saving (for instance, one couple may agree to cut their movie streaming subscription for 3 months, while a teenager might decide to skip store-bought after-school snacks).

Check it out!

Put your heads together, as a group, to research how bank (and other) cards can help cut your travel costs. Some cards, for instance, offer points towards air travel, while others offer free or discounted travel insurance.

Garage sale!

Nothing gets the dollars flying more than a garage sale, and the bigger, the better! Get everyone in your travel party to pool unwanted possessions (kids will love donating their pre-loved toys and books), and hold a monster garage sale. Advertise it well, have everything sparkling-clean and attractively laid out, and you’ll be amazed at how much your travel fund grows in just a few hours! You could also look at selling items in Trade Me or the likes.

Short term jobs

Grownups (and teens) are always in demand for short-term part-time jobs. Whether it’s stocking shelves, or washing dishes, the travel destination will make it so much more do-able and fun.

Prioritise saving together for travel experiences, and before you know it, you’ll be making memories!