During a stressful day at work or school, you close your eyes for a second and let your mind wander, spending sweet leisure time in a happier place before being drawn back to reality. The vacation of your dreams shouldn’t be confined to a momentary haven for your overworked brain when instead it could be a thrilling reality. All it takes is a little willpower and planning.
Vacations do cost a fair amount of money though, especially if you’re traveling far from home. Mint is a free money management and financial tracker app that can help you anticipate your vacation’s expenses and track your savings. Follow these six simple steps to start saving for your dream vacation with Mint:
Step 1: Sign up for Mint. Go to www.mint.com or search for the app in your app store. It is free to create and use a Mint account, so just do it.
Step 2: Add a new goal. After logging into your account, click on “Goals” on the banner at the top of the page, and then click on “Add a Goal.” Mint has a list of budgeting templates for a few of the most common financial goals. For your dream vacation, you could choose the “Take a Trip” template, or you could create a custom goal.
Step 3: Set vacation details. If you choose the “Take a Trip” template, fill out a few fields that are specifically tailored to going on a vacation (e.g., the duration, number of travelers, and how much you would need for flights, hotels, food, activities, etc.).
Step 4: Link a bank account. Mint does a great job with tracking your savings progress because it allows you to link bank accounts to your savings goal. Whenever you add money to that bank account, you’re a little closer to reaching your dream. You can choose to open a new bank account or simply link one you already have. You can add or remove bank accounts at any time.
Step 5: Create a monthly savings plan. You can set a specific amount of money aside in your monthly budget to go toward your dream vacation, and Mint will then estimate how long it will take for you to reach your goal based on your monthly contribution. Or, if you prefer, it can determine how much you should set aside in order to reach the goal by a certain date.
Step 6: Save your goal. Now that you’ve hashed out the basic financial details of your dream vacation, click “Save Goal” and stick to the plan. All the sacrifice will be worth the spectacular memories you’re bound to make.
Written by Rebecca Timmons