Wouldn’t it be great if we all had a vacation account that was just waiting to be spent? Unfortunately, that’s just not real life for most of us. In fact, most people are just now starting to plan for their summer vacations. If you are trying to plan a big trip but are a little short on cash, here are some great ways to get additional money quickly: Start with a budget Decide up front how much you'll spend on your vacation. Include all expenses. In addition to plane tickets (or gas, if you're headed on a road trip) and hotel, estimate your costs for meals, souvenirs, park admissions, etc. The small expenses can add up, so it’s important to get an idea of the actual cost of the trip. This will allow you to see if the trip is realistic or if you need to scale back to make the trip more affordable. Forage through the pantry for a week Spend one week without going to the grocery store. Only eat what is in your pantry or freezer. For most families, not only does this add up to big savings but also prevents you from throwing your money away by letting food expire. By getting creative with meal planning now, you can help fund your vacation meals. Make a commitment to eat at home According to the National Restaurant Association, the average family with children under six years old spends $239 a month eating out. By eating in, you can afford to have extra splurges on vacation that will create memories and not just meals. Have a garage sale Instead of throwing away all of your extras while you’re spring cleaning, tuck them away for a garage sale. Your "trash" can become someone else’s "treasure" and help you go on a summer vacation debt free. Use online guides and newspapers to advertise your garage sale or have yours at the same time as your neighbors to maximize traffic and sales. For children who are old enough to help, let them pick some of the toys and games they no longer play with to sell, suggests Dave Ramsey, author of The Total Money Makeover. A special kids' table with a sign like, "All proceeds go toward our Disney World trip" is often a big hit, and it helps them learn about money. Don’t want to do the work of a garage sale? Try consignment stores for children's and adult clothing. Track your progress Create a progress chart that the whole family can see. It’s important for everyone in the family to see the progress, so they can remember why they are sacrificing. And, it makes saving fun! Have helpful tips on how you and your family save? We’d love to hear them! Message your tips to our Facebook page, and we will post them on social media channels and in upcoming newsletters!