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A Unique Way to Saving for Your Next Summer Vacation

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With summer just a few months away, you're probably wondering how on earth you'll fit all your plans into that tight vacation budget. You might have already started setting cash aside for your grand travel plans, but let's face it, even the best-laid plans can go off the rails once you start excessively spending on local foods, drinks, and activities. If you are like me, you've probably raided your long-term savings account more times than you'd care to admit, thanks to impulsive spending.

For the past 5 months, my partner and I have decided to take a radical approach to setting more money aside for our grand vacation plans. Here’s what we are doing to fund our summer activities…

Introducing Negative Reinforcement

The concept of negative reinforcement has always been on my radar, but I struggled to find a way to implement it. Negative reinforcement involves encouraging certain behaviors by removing or avoiding negative outcomes or stimuli. While commonly used in teaching children good behavior, it also plays a role in training animals and pets.

Inspired by this idea, we decided to inject some fun into our savings journey. One challenge we both faced was limiting our daily screen time to under 2 hours. It might sound embarrassing and excessive, but it's a struggle many people share. Our plan was simple: we would set aside $10 at the end of each day if our screen time exceeded 2 hours. In addition to our regular $50 semi-monthly contribution to our summer plans, this approach would compel us to keep our daily screen time in check, or else we'd have to allocate $10 each towards our travel fund.

For some, setting aside $10 a day may seem insignificant, but when you factor in all your other monthly expenses, it can quickly add up to a substantial cost. I wish I could say that I've been successful in keeping my screen time under 2 hours consistently, but truth be told, I have been slacking hard!

The reason we find this approach cool and innovative is that despite the outcome at the end, we’ll eventually find ourselves in a win-win situation. Using negative reinforcement allows us to work on our bad habits, and at the same time, on the days we fall short we are forced to fatten our travel fund which in turn, will allow us to make the most out of our vacation.

Applying Negative Reinforcement To Your Travel Plans.  

If you’ve got grand travel plans for this summer, you are probably wondering how you can use negative reinforcement to your advantage.  Here are three examples of how you can add an element of fun to your savings.

Fitness Finesse:

Another way to save for your vacation while improving your habits is by incorporating fitness goals. Decide on a fitness target for the week, whether it's hitting the gym a certain number of times or completing a set number of miles jogging. If either of you falls short of the goal, agree to contribute $10 per missed session or mile towards your travel fund. This not only encourages accountability in your fitness routine but also adds a financial incentive to stay active. Plus, the extra exercise will have you feeling even better and looking great when you finally embark on your vacation adventures.

Dining Out Dilemma:

Let's face it, dining out can quickly drain your wallet and derail your vacation savings. To combat this, set a rule for yourselves: for every meal eaten out unnecessarily, contribute $10 to your travel fund. Make a game out of it by keeping track of how many times you successfully resist the temptation to dine out.

Gas Guzzler Challenge:

Are you guilty of taking short drives when you could walk or bike instead? Turn this habit into an opportunity for savings. Set a weekly gas budget and agree that for every gallon of gas used unnecessarily, contribute $5 towards your vacation fund. To make it more engaging, create a progress chart where you track your gas consumption and celebrate each week you stay within your budget.

Key Takeaway

In essence, personal finance is about empowering yourself to shape the life you desire. It's not about restricting your current lifestyle, but rather making intentional choices that align with your long-term goals. While our bank balances may tempt us to indulge, exercising restraint and considering the bigger picture is crucial. Ultimately, negative reinforcement is a great way to quickly achieve any savings goal you have.

If you’ve gotten this far in the blog, I’d love to hear about how you decide to implement negative reinforcement in your savings journey. Feel free to send me a message about the unique approach you use to skyrocket your savings.

Kondwelani Kalinda, Associate Investment Advisor

Kondwelani Kalinda is an Associate Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with iA Private Wealth, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Endeavour Wealth Management provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.

This information has been prepared by Kondwelani Kalinda who is an Associate Investment Advisor for iA Private Wealth and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of iA Private Wealth. The information contained in this newsletter comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. The information contained here in may not apply to all types of investors. The Investment Advisor can open accounts only in the provinces in which they are registered.

iA Private Wealth Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization. iA Private Wealth is a trademark and business name under which iA Private Wealth Inc. operates.

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