SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

February 14, 2013 10:54 ET

BMO Harris Bank Financial Tip of the Week: Saving for a Vacation

With Spring Break Just Around the Corner, It's Still Not Too Late to Save

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 14, 2013) - As part of BMO Harris Bank's ongoing commitment to financial literacy and Making Money Make Sense, BMO Harris is providing weekly financial tips. This week's tip offers tips on how to save for a vacation.

It turns out planning a vacation is good for both your spirit and your finances. Taking a vacation is something everyone should do because it helps you relax and get away from day-to-day chores. The key is planning in advance so you know all of your expenses are covered without creating new debt or other financial obligations.

BMO Harris Bank suggests four steps to make taking a vacation possible in 2013:

Create a vacation budget. The first step is deciding how much you want to spend on your vacation. Is it a weekend getaway or a weeklong excursion? You need to know how much travel, lodging, a rental car, dining and entertainment will cost. You can then divide it up between the months until your vacation to give you a ballpark figure for how much you need to save.

Open a separate vacation savings account. This allows you to watch your money grow and also keep you less tempted to spend it on other expenses. To make saving even easier, you can use a program like Auto Save to transfer a predetermined amount of money at set times during the month from your checking to savings account.

Save a portion of your tax refund. Also consider saving any work bonuses, gift money and even the loose change you have in your wallet or pockets at the end of the day. Many people are surprised that even small amounts can quickly add up.

Try a one week spending fast. Once a month, try spending as little as possible over the course of one week. For example, don't spend money on coffee, lunch, going to the movies or happy hour with your coworkers. Instead, take that money and put it in your vacation savings account.

Put yourself in a comfortable place and get started with helpful steps.

The Learning Center is brought to you by BMO Harris Bank, WGN, CLTV, WGN AM 1070, Chicago Tribune, RedEye and Hoy.

About BMO Harris Bank

Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris BankSM is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.

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