|Beautiful - but do I want to see it at 3pm?|
Obviously we have no intention of losing our lovely fortnight away in the spring/early summer - we enjoy that far too much, and having a full fortnight away is such a lovely thing to be able to do. That's far from the cheapest of holidays either, but we fund it by making regular deposits into a savings account through the year, saving loose change, and undercutting our grocery budget in order to have the whole cost covered before we even set foot on a ferry. This does mean though that there is no spare cash lying about to divert to an additional trip up - so how to fund such a trip, was the question?
|Fulmars nesting amongst the Thrift at Ness...|
For a good few years now we've been saving into an online "sealed pot" - traditionally this comes from money "rounded down" from other bank accounts and transferred in - so the odd pennies on a balance, or sometimes a few pounds as well in order to round a balance down to the nearest £5 or £10 threshold. This year, and with the challenge of the "cash neutral holiday" in mind, we've also taken to popping our TopCashBack money into there, and more recently a cheque received as a refund from a long-ago cancelled insurance policy. It was a tough decision to do that as in the past all our "unexpected" money has gone off to the account we save for mortgage overpayments in - however in real terms this extra trip is research for our hoped for future move, so it doesn't feel TOO much like cheating! (We still dispatched the council tax & water rates money from February & March off to the mortgage as normal). Interest from savings accounts also heads off into the "VSP" (Virtual Sealed Pot) account. We had £300 sitting there from last year, and so far this year we've managed to add very nearly another £360 so far! Astonishing, eh? That's already our accommodation and flights funded, and probably the fuel for the hire car, too! Although I've long been a fan of VSP saving, it's really come as a surprise quite how much can be saved this way when you really put your mind to it, and because it's only a tiny amount that you shave off the accounts each time you do it, you really don't notice the going of it. (Which in turn leads to the question "where the heck did it go before, then?" I guess!) It's certainly a great way of making something like a holiday pretty much cash neutral, and we'll certainly be carrying on with that method of saving for specific things on into the future.
|That snow on the mainland hills is one reason for NOT taking the car up in winter!|