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Easy Ways to Save $1,000

Vacation season is upon us and it can be tempting to pull out the plastic. To enjoy a vacation that you are not paying for when the next vacation season rolls around, consider a plan that costs $1,000 or less and pay cash. You will no doubt enjoy your vacation more knowing that you will return home with only your memories and without credit card bills.

To save $1,000.00 in six months or three months you will need to save about $167.00 or $333.00 each month, respectively. If you are barely making ends meet savings $1,000.00 may seem impossible. It doesn't have to be; you can make it happen with a plan.

Start with your budget.

Write down all sources of income and every expense. You may be able to cut back on or eliminate spending outside of fixed expenses. For example, assuming you spend $2.00 each day on coffee you will save $40 each month if you bring it from home or about $120 if you bring your lunch to work each day.

Other suggestions for cutting back include

? Extra cable or telephone service

? Health club memberships

? Rent rather than buy movies or go to the theater

? Rent cd's from the library rather than buy them

? Invite friends over for a potluck meal instead of going out to dinner

? Consider a roommate if space allows

? Carpool to save on gas

? Wash your car instead of paying someone else to do it

You can also save money by cutting back on your food budget. The Sunday paper offers an average of $225.00 in savings coupons each week. Plan your weekly menus according to what is on sale and in season.

Dry cleaning bills may also be a source for savings. Consider a home dry cleaning kit or choose machine washable items while on your savings plan.

Make a plan

If you have reviewed your monthly budget are unable to find the needed $167 or $333 you can look for ways to bring in additional income. Ideas include:

? Garage sales

? Second jobs

? Online selling (eBay)

? Flea markets (either to sell your valuables or to buy items for resale on ebay)

Take inventory of your talents

? Do you have a marketable talent? (catering, organizing, landscaping, decorating)

? Do you have a skill that others will pay you to teach? (guitar lessons, cooking)

If you are planning a family vacation get the family involved. A family meeting is a great time to discuss vacation plans, including the budget. Children may earn spending money for vacation by performing small jobs for neighbors, or they may choose to save a small percentage of their allowance. The idea is to have a great time without maxing the plastic or spending too much money. Open a vacation savings account at a local credit union near by. Credit unions typically pay higher dividends. A directory of credit unions can be found at

Nicole Soltau is the President and Founder of - the leading Credit Union Directory - search, find, join...

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