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So you’ve worked out your holiday budget, booked your accommodation online after much deliberation, and now you’re ready to set off on another holiday. You’re going to feel the pinch financially, but so long as you don’t go nuts shopping at outlet malls, you’ll be fine.
Or will you? With all that money you’ll be spending overseas, the last thing you want is to be unknowingly losing money at home, too.
Here are six ways to save a bit of cash back home while you’re off enjoying your holiday.
1. Make plans in advance for the care of pets and kids
Anyone who’s got young or furry lives that depend on theirs needs to make plans in advance if there’ll be nobody to care for their little ones in their absence.
Don’t just assume your parents/in-laws/neighbours will be around and/or willing to do the job for you. Tell them the exact dates you’ll be away and enumerate all the responsibilities you’ll need them to undertake on your behalf—from picking your child up from school to cleaning out the cat litter.
Failing to do so could mean having to fork out the money for a petsitter, pet kennel or ad-hoc babysitter.
2. Subscriptions and memberships you won’t be around to use
Any sort of monthly subscription or membership gets under-utilised if you’re going on a trip of more than a week or two, so check if you can pause or suspend your subscription while you’re away.
For instance, if you have a subscription on a fitness class app like Guavapass, you should be able to pause or suspend your subscription temporarily while you’re away. Forgetting to do that could mean losing at least an extra $50 on a 2-week vacation.
What happens if you have subscriptions that can’t be suspended? You might want to check if somebody else will be able to use them on your behalf. For instance, if you’ve already paid for a weekly yoga class, ask if a friend can go instead of you while you’re away. If you’re getting newspapers delivered to your home, let your neighbours have your copies.
3. Settle all your bill and loan payments
No matter how much you hate paying bills, don’t put off the inevitable, especially if you’re leaving on vacation.
It’s all too easy to push credit card bills aside, only to return from your holiday to realise that you’ve missed the deadline to make some of your payments and have been unceremoniously slapped with late payment charges and interest.
Also make sure you settle any loan repayments such as your home loan repayment to the bank before you leave.
4. Returning of books and DVDs
To avoid accumulating fines, settle all your outstanding loans from libraries and other lending services like DVD rental services.
You’ll want to plan on returning these items a few days in advance. Leaving this task to the last minute often means you won’t have time to head out to return the borrowed items, since you’ll have a lot on your hands with trip planning, exchanging currency and so on.
5. Settle work stuff
Getting harassed by your boss while you’re on holiday is one of the most annoying things ever. You’ll want to start planning for your disappearance from work weeks in advance.
Do as much of your work as you can in advance so people don’t have a reason to bug you. Instruct very clearly whoever’s covering for you in your absence, and don’t leave anything hanging—if you anticipate any questions about work while you’re away, deal with them before you leave.
Finally, don’t forget to set your out-of-office email message. Whether or not you think you’re above replying to emails while on holiday, it’s always best to temper expectations by stating that you may not have email access and will respond to emails when you return, not before.
Being responsible about work-related matters not only saves you from a lot of angst, but makes you look like a better, more responsible employee, which will hopefully have a long-term impact on your career.
6. Unplug your appliances
If your home will be empty when you’re on holiday or there are any appliances that nobody at home but you uses, unplug them so they stop consuming electricity in your absence.
For instance, if your entire family is going to be away, there is no need to leave the modem/router plugged in. You should also disconnect kitchen appliances like the microwave and coffee machine if nobody else will be using them when you’re gone.
Got your bases covered? Find great flight deals or download our free mobile app for Android or mobile app for iOS for easy browsing and booking on the go.
This article was first published in MoneySmart and is republished here with permission.