May 16, 2018

How I Save For Our Family Holidays

Holidays abroad are definitely our main splurge but with me being a full time mum and all of us relying on G's income alone, we have to be really good with money throughout the year to save for all our holidays. We usually go to Hong Kong once a year to see our families, and this year, we're also going to Tuscany and Bali for weddings too.

So, being careful with money and not overspending is the first step to saving for sure. Once all the household bills/groceries/necessities are paid for, I set a monthly budget of £120 for dining out for all 3 of us, £100 for toddler classes and necessities and another £100 for other miscellaneous spends throughout the month. 

On top of saving where possible, I've found some other ways to bring in a little more income which I save towards family holidays.

Making Good Use Of January Sales
January is the best time to pick up clothes and toys in the sale but I am not buying for Isaac! Instead, I make a list of all the kiddies I'm likely to be buying birthday/Christmas presents for and pick up everything from 50-80% off in the sales.

I did really well shopping for toys in Mothercare earlier this year and a huge box came through which is now stored in the loft. I also got a great selection of clothes in the kids Zara sale. This is also great to do since I don't always have time to go to the shops to get a present when the parties start happening. I easily save a couple hundreds of pounds doing this.

Sell Your Unwanted Items
I'm constantly clearing things out in our home, selling higher value items on Ebay and larger items on Shpock. Anything that doesn't shift on either sites and low value items get bundled into bags for carboot sales. I've done my first carboot of the year and made about £120 already, and I plan to fit another 1-2 more in. I made £850 on Ebay last year and around £50 on Shpock.

Shoppix and Receipt Hog
Shoppix and Receipt Hog are both companies who want to know about your spending habits so they can sell this data onto marketing companies. If you don't have a problem with this, sign up and turn your scanned receipts into money! You can use the same receipt on both apps and double up on the rewards. It's a slow earner but all bonus money you wouldn't otherwise get. I save all the 'coins' on both apps and cash out when I hit the larger denominations. I've been using both for about 6 months now and close to making a combined £30 which can be cashed out as cash via Paypal or Amazon Vouchers.

For Shoppix, use my referral code 4L8CEF8C and both you and I will earn a bonus 200 tokens. I like to go for Amazon vouchers and pick up any holiday essentials from there.

Use Cashback Sites
I've been with Quidco for years and last year I signed up to Top Cashback too. The same retailer will have different cashback rates on both sites, so it's worth checking to see who is offering more at the time you buy. Last year I made £50 cash back on Quidco and £15 on Top Cashback buying things I needed to buy anyway.

If you'd like to use a referral code for Quidco, it's https://www.quidco.com/user/1615050/2760290/ and for Top Cashback it's https://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/lucylovestoeat.

Sign Up With Circle Pay
Like Paypal, Circle Pay is an easy way to send money to friends and family via their telephone number or email address. You receive £5 referral for every friend who signs up and uses Circle. So far I've made £38 in referrals and bonus cash, and it's been handy to send money without needing to log into my bank account. Use my referral code GCLZH1 and both you and I will earn £5.

Book Flights And Accomodation In Advance
Booking flights and hotels in advance is the best way to secure cheap prices. I booked our hotels for Bali in October around 3 weeks ago for £292, and when I took a look a few days ago, it has already gone up to £555 for the same room!

Sometimes it's not possible because funds are not available, but you do face paying much higher rates if you leave it closer to the time and especially if it's peak season. You could consider an instant loan if you see a deal you cannot miss, the repayment interest could still work out cheaper than paying more for flights and accommodation at a later date. And always make sure you clear the cookies and cache on your computer before buying so that travel companies can't use your browsing history and bump up prices.


[Our annual family holiday to Hong Kong, April 2018]

[Travelling is my biggest joy]

So these are all my money saving tips, I hope it helps you guys save towards that dream holiday!


*This is a collaborative post. All opinions and copy are my own. 

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Maira Gall