How to save for family holidays, without breaking the bank

One question we get asked ALOT is, ‘How can you afford to go on so many holidays’?

Do you often ask yourself why you are struggling to make ends meet, when that Mary one down the road is off on her tenth holiday of the year? Or why Paddy and Sheila are heading off on an exotic cruise, when the only heat you are getting is when you open the oven door to take out the dinner?

If you have answered yes to the above, then you are exactly like me, and a lot of others reading this I would guess.

I am forever comparing my life to others around me, both on social media and in real life. This is a recipe for disaster. Remember, you are only seeing the best parts of peoples lives, you don’t see the other 80% that we all hide so well. So, don’t ask yourself why someone else is going on so many holidays, instead ask yourself how you can afford go on 1 or maybe 2 extra holidays per year.

Our top 3 tips, for saving money for your family holidays:


Sit down with a cuppa, a calculator, a pen and some paper. Work out your households annual income, and your annual bills. Make sure you include weekly, monthly and annual bills (don’t forget the dreaded NCT and car insurance etc). Make sure it is all on the list.

Now work out the difference between the 2 figures to get your annual disposable income. Divide by 12 for your monthly or 52 for your weekly disposable income.

We were so shocked when we did this for the first time. We genuinely thought we were broke, and were living month to month but once we calculated our disposable income it became very clear very quickly that we were wasting alot of money on absolute s*#t.

Once you do this, I bet you will be scratching your head wondering where all that disposable income is going.

Make it a priority!

If you really want another holiday, than you need to make it a priority. Don’t just save whatever is left over at the end of each month. If you are anything like me, that will be very little. If the money is in my purse or account I feel like I have to spend it.

Make a commitment to save a certain amount every week/month towards holidays. Treat it as another bill and get it out of your account at the beginning of the month. Pop it into a credit union or savings account, whatever works for you.

Reduce your spending!

Take a detailed look at what you are spending money on and ask yourself honestly, if you really benefit from the product or service.

Do you have an expensive monthly tv subscription that you don’t really need? Do you really need a gazillion stations when you have the likes of Netflix and YouTube etc at your fingertips?

How many times a week/month do you order takeaway food? How many times do you buy your lunch out instead of bringing a packed lunch to work? All of these small expenses add up quickly.

Let’s say the average takeaway for a family of 4 costs €30, and you are getting a takeaway once per week. That is €1,560 per year. If you were to reduce this to every second week you would save yourself €780 per year.

Now what could you do with that €780?

Last September we spent 7 days in a fab resort in Spain, we got a last minute deal on accommodation and managed to do the whole holiday for €1,000. That is flights, accommodation and spending money for 2 adults and 2 kids for 7 days. We had an absolute ball, and all for just a little bit more than what you would save by reducing the amount of takeaways you are ordering.

None of the above tips are rocket science, but without implementing them the chances of you getting that extra holiday are quite slim.

3 responses to “How to save for family holidays, without breaking the bank”

  1. This is a great list, very easy to implement! The comparison game can definitely get the better of me, thank you for breaking everything down!


    1. Thanks for the feedback Cara, really appreciate it.


  2. Whoah. You just un-messed everything. Now I’m sure I can do a lot better.

    Thanks for these insightful tips.


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