How to save up for the dream vacation in 90 days: Tips from a financial guru.

I love financial expert Jean Chatzky’s voice. She sounds so calm and reasonable. I came across a video clip of hers where she outlines how to save for a dream vacation in 90 days. It’s not rocket science, and her tips do work. I just did number two myself.

Here are the three tips in a nutshell. Seriously. It’s not rocket science.

1. Once you decide where you want to go, find out how much it will cost. Chatzky says to figure in the costs of eating and entertainment as well. The ticket or gas prices are only part of it. Factoring in ALL expenses helps plan. She recommends travel Web sites to scout out deals.

2. Then she suggests that you look to see if there are ways you can save, such as seeing if you can use miles. (That’s how I’m going to Denmark with my daughter in December.) In many cases we have NOT used miles if flights were not that expensive. We wanted to save up miles for a bigger trip.

3. Once you know your total cost, divide the cost by 13 since you have 13 weeks to come up with the money. Chatzky then says you look at your expenses to see what you can cut out each week. Chatzky picks coffee, clothes, lunches out and make-up as areas for savings.

Her figure to save was $80 a week. If you save $80 for 13 weeks, that’s $1,040.

If $80 is a hefty amount, my idea is to expand the length of time you need to save the money. The point is to know what your goal is so you can aim for it.

Although cutting back on immediate expenses, Chatzky says that once you’re on the beach, or wherever, the sacrifice you made to get there will be worth it.

Here’s the link for the video so Chatzky can tell you the how tos herself.

Any tips you’ve come up with to save for your dream vacation? I’ve saved all spare change.