When your school is planning an educational trip for the summer, you're guaranteed to encounter concerns from students and parents about the cost of the trip. Anticipate those concerns by creating a resource that covers some money saving tips. Here are five tips to help get students involved in saving (and earning) money for their student travel adventure:
Dedicate expendable cash to the trip. Whether they already have a job, a weekly allowance, or some other source of income, many high school students seem to have some sort of cash flow at their disposal. More often than not, this money is used for trips to the movies, designer jeans, after school trips to the coffee shop, or any other number of recreational activities. Furthermore, they usually underestimate how much they are spending because the individual purchases seem small. While it may not be the cool thing to do, encourage all of your students to commit to scaling back together for the sake of the school trip. They'll be amazed at how much they can cushion the travel fund by funneling their cash flow into savings.
Cutting a luxury from the budget. This is similar to the first tip, but it involves cash out of mom and dad's pocket instead of the students'. Many parents accommodate at least some non-essential financial requests form their children. It could be stocking their favorite snack or beverage in the pantry. It could be paying for hair appointments or video game rentals. Encourage students to pick something that is a luxury item for them and then give it up from now until the time of their school trip. They can then ask their parents to deposit that money into the educational travel fund.
Invest time in saving money through sales, discounts, and coupons. This is another way students can help their parents stretch their budget. It takes time and effort to look through ads and check the paper for coupons. If the student can take on the responsibility of completing these tasks every week, it will remove the burden from mom and dad and everyone can be happy about the money they save.
Fundraisers. I'm sure this one is already on your list of things to do. Fundraisers are very common ways to raise money. But updating your fundraising efforts with fresh, creative ideas might just be the boost you need to surpass your fundraising goal. Have your students plan an evening of entertainment that parents and community members can buy tickets to see. Ask a business or nonprofit organization in town in they have a big project such as inventory or spring cleaning that your students could collectively knock out for a donation to the student travel fund. Get your students involved in brainstorming more ideas like these and you'll be on your way to fundraising success.
Take on side jobs. Parents should love this one. It's similar to fundraising, but on an individual basis. Students can babysit, mow lawns, or even take on a part time job at the movie theater or a fast food restaurant. Encourage them to put everything they earn towards their educational adventure. Not only does this help them earn money, it helps them learn the discipline of saving. It also helps them learn to be dependable and professional through work experience.
Student travel can definitely be expensive. But it's possible for everyone to succeed if they can keep their eyes on the prize. Remind them regularly about how educational (and fun) their student travel adventure will be. This will help them stay focused and committed to saving enough money. You can also have them set individual or collective goals and then compete to see who is most successful in reaching (or surpassing) their goal. Maybe the prize can even be an extra perk on the trip. Regardless of which tips you use and how you keep them motivated, all the hard work will be worth it when your educational experience is a success.