On the road: saving up for a family trip

Soon after first getting your first job and starting to earn a salary, you probably dream of treating your parents to a family vacation. The challenge is saving up money for it, especially if you have a large family. Then it might take years to save enough even for a trip upcountry. It might be tempting to give up on this dream.

But it's not so difficult if you simply have a good financial plan. It's all about how you save. With a few smart tips, you can reach your goal. Here are five ideas:

1. Save by a period longer than a month

Most salary earners have to manage a heavy spending burden each month. That makes it hard to save up an equal sum every month. So take a more flexible approach. The key is to keep in mind a total goal for the year, then estimate roughly how much you can put away in different periods. For example, you might anticipate that during the year's first three months, you could reasonably save 5,000 baht. Then 7,000 in the following quarter. It adds up quickly.

2. Save in a foreign currency

If you follow the news closely, you might be able to save faster by profiting from daily exchange rate swings. This approach is especially good if you already have ample savings and would like to scale it up. Start by setting aside a sum that you will use to trade in foreign exchange. Then it's up to your skill and luck.

3. Save in just one account

You won't necessarily save more by opening multiple deposit accounts. Don't forget, you'll need to pay a fee for each one. If you lack strong savings discipline, you should force yourself to start by depositing into a single account only. Wait to open a second account until after you succeed with the first.

4. Save together!

If you can't save enough on your own, team up with your siblings and parents. Once you have an estimate of the trip cost, make a savings plan together with your family. Let each contribute according to ability - if you can save 500 baht per month, ask a younger brother or sister to each pitch in 300 baht per month and your parents 400 baht. Group effort can even make it fun to save.

5. Set aside every new banknote

Hang on to every fresh banknote you get, or every 50-baht note. This is a time-honored savings trick that still works because having a banknote in hand makes the financial project more tangible - even fun.

These savings techniques are simple but effective. You can synergize by using more than method at a time. Savings depends on setting a goal and planning. Most importantly, you need discipline and determination. If you want to reduce the pressure, start your family trip plan by picking a destination nearby. Succeed with one trip, and you'll be on the road to more.