Even though cruises are known for being the best vacations for cost effectiveness, that doesn’t mean we don’t continue to look for more ways to save and budget for them.
Here are 8 ways to grow your cruise fund:
1. Use your tax refund
April 15 is fast approaching, and most Americans are hoping for a nice return check. What better way to reward yourself than to spend that money on your next cruise? Whether you already have one booked or are holding out for the next sale, your tax return can help pay for some drinks, excursions, specialty dining, or more.
2. Brew your own coffee and pack your lunch
The convenience of the Starbucks on the corner of your street and your office’s cafeteria can be tempting, but stop and add up how much you’re really spending. Let’s say you spend $5 per day on a latte and $7 per day on a sandwich and chips for lunch five days per week four weeks per month. That comes out to $240 per month, which could buy another cruise! You could cut that bill in less than half just by brewing your own coffee and packing your own lunch with groceries from the store. It may be less convenient, but it will save you a lot of money – money that can be spent on your next cruise.
3. Sell what you don’t use
If you’ve got a junk drawer full of old, unused smartphones and tablets collecting dust or a storage shed full of old furniture, sell it! Have a yard sale or post a picture with a price online. Even if you think “this isn’t worth much,” every little bit helps toward your cruise fund. Even just $10 is another drink!
4. Sell your plasma
This is a lot like donating blood, except you get paid for it. You can usually do it about once a month. Compensation rates vary based on your local plasma center, but it’s an easy way to make a few bucks for your cruise while simultaneously helping to save the lives of those with rare and chronic diseases. It will make your cruise that much sweeter.
5. Take a side gig
You can always find a way to earn money on the side, and you can usually find something that will allow you to control your own schedule. House or pet sit for a friend or neighbor, referee some youth sports games, become a ride share driver on the weekend, spend your Saturday mornings getting paid to take online surveys – there’s something out there for everyone! Find gigs in your area with Gig Walk.
6. Take out a cruise line credit card
If you use the credit card responsibly, this is just free cruise money. Most major cruise lines offer credit cards with rewards programs in which you get a number of rewards points just for signing up, and the more you spend, the more you earn! The rewards points are converted to a cash value and can be used to pay off your balance, so if you have $100 worth of rewards points going into your next cruise, you can think of it as $100 of onboard credit to spend!
7. Use your talents to earn extra cash
If you’re good with a camera, offer to take headshots for friends for their LinkedIn profiles for a few bucks. If you’re good at a foreign language, offer tutoring sessions in your spare time. If you’re crafty, set up a store on a site like Etsy and sell what you make. There are hundreds of ways to put your talents to use to make extra money – it just depends how much extra time you want to put into them.
8. Take paid surveys online
As mentioned in #5, how easy is this? Most of us spend hours online every day anyway – why not make money while doing it? There are hundreds of sites out there for paid surveys and various pay rates, so do some searching first. In just a few hours your cruise excursions could be paid for! A popular online survey company is Opinion Post.
How do you grow your cruise fund?