Is your savings account looking a little thin? Summer is already here, and maybe your plan to put 10 percent of each paycheck aside for a summer trip didn’t quite work out. That’s okay, because there are other ways to fund an epic summer adventure, and some of them only take a few minutes. Ready to get the money necessary for a summer vacation that won’t ever be forgotten?
Start by considering ways to cut current budget sucks right now. Every little bit counts, and scoring last-minute deals on airfare and lodging can help get vacationers ahead. Here are seven wacky ways you can potentially fund that summer trip. Try one or try them all; the days are already getting shorter.
1. WWOOF It
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. WWOOFers work on farms around the world in exchange for free room, board, and meals. For some, it’s a lifestyle, but for others it’s a last-ditch opportunity to go on vacation with zero budget. Funding isn’t really an issue here, and all it costs is a bus ticket or car share. This is the most budget-friendly approach, but farm work isn’t for everyone.
2. Donate plasma
Blood isn’t worth anything in itself, but plasma donations can earn up to $60 per visit, and most people can donate about three times per week. You need to be healthy, have no recent piercings or tattoos, and weigh at least 120 lbs. in order to donate. There’s always a high need, but there can also be long lines.
3. Get a Craigslist gig
There are always people willing to pay something for just about anything on Craigslist. Whether it’s babysitting, dog walking, being a promotional model, or driving someone to their appointments, Craigslist is a smorgasbord of opportunities. Just be careful and steer clear of anything that seems too good to be true.
4. eBay and garage sales
Summer is the perfect time for a garage sale, so start putting up those cardboard signs and getting rid of things that are no longer useful to you. For items that are worth a bit more, selling them on eBay is a better bet. Most people have at least a few things around the house worth a little money and no longer being used, so use them to fund that summer trip.
5. Look for bank deals
Many local banks offer an incentive for opening a free checking account. For example, Homestreet Bank offers up to $300 for new customers. Requirements may include signing up for direct deposit or cutting up a current debit card (which can be replaced for free). Look around to see what deals are in town.
6. Hit the jackpot
If only it were that easy to win the Powerball! However, going for smaller pools like a local bingo hall or raffle will substantially improve your odds of winning. There’s also such a thing as beginner’s luck, so you could bank on that to fund your vacation. Mobile casinos are another great option, because bets can be low and you don’t have to commute to the casino (which wastes gas).
For those who have a great home or apartment, consider moving in with family or friends for a month and sublet for a profit. This isn’t always legal, so check with the landlord first, or consider getting a short-term roommate. Rent is often a person’s biggest expense, and even saving one month of it fund a decent trip.
Summer vacations are a blast, so get creative in 2013. There are many options out there, and if you’re committed, you can make it happen. Now the only issue is deciding where to go. . . .