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Cents & Sensibility: Goal: Affording Your Dream Vacation!

Cents & Sensibility: Affording Your Dream Vacation
Don't go to your grave without taking your dream vacation solely because of the daunting cost of the getaway. Follow these steps to "find" the money and set sail within just a couple years.


Financial goals are rarely about dollars in the bank. Generally, they are about realizing a dream that requires financial backing. So rather than using the word "goal," which can sound restrictive or negative, I like to use the word "dream" when helping clients set up a savings plan. And "dream" doesn't mean unattainable or far-reaching. In fact, if you've stopped dreaming, I bet you often find yourself asking, "What's it all for?"

Therefore, the first step in setting and achieving financial goals or dreams is to restart your dreaming. Do you have a trip, home or purchase that you've always passed off as pie-in-the-sky or "someday"? When you look at the total price of such a dream, do you sigh and think to yourself, "Maybe when I win the lottery"? Well, today is the day that I challenge you to turn someday into an actual date — no lottery ticket required. With a smidge of discipline and a little time, you can take that trip or have that house.

Perhaps you've always dreamed of taking an Alaskan cruise. With flight and cruise packages, this fantastic trip can cost upwards of $5,000 for two people. (This figure is based on a room with a balcony, departing out of Seattle for a sevem-day roundtrip cruise.) That amount can seem daunting and impossible if you are a typical American who struggles to keep $5,000 in the bank for emergency purposes. I'm here to tell you that it is entirely possible with a little planning. Here's how:

Let's say you and your beloved are preparing to celebrate your eighth wedding anniversary. (Congratulations!) Wouldn't it be a treat to embark on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate your 10th? If you start saving today, you can get there without even breaking out a credit card. This year, rather than giving your sweetie a store-bought gift for your anniversary, head down to the bank or credit union and set up a tenth-anniversary trip savings account.

Start your account with an initial deposit of $100. Remember, you don't have to buy an anniversary gift this year, so stretch a little to start saving toward your dream. You then need an additional $4,900 to realize your dream. Since you have two years, or 24 months until the big day, you'll need to put away about $200 per month.

If you are paid every other week, that equals $100 per paycheck. When you split the amount with your sweetheart (after all, your gift to him is STARTING the account, but he should help you get there), it's just $50 each per pay period.

Make your savings automatic via payroll deduction or automatic transfer, and without any pain at all, you will be setting sail for glaciers, polar bears and Eskimos. Feel free to apply this same method to any dream, and you could be soaking up the sun in Maui, enjoying a gondola in Venice or relaxing on the front porch of your brand new home in just a matter of years. Bon voyage!
Kelley C. Long -

Kelley Long is a certified public accountant (CPA), Cincy Chic's former financial columnist, a downtowner, and a financial coach and owner of Kelley C. Long Consulting. You can e-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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