How You Can Afford a Spectacular Summer Vacation ...

School is out for the summer and now’s the time to spend with friends. Along with going to amusement parks and the beach, you might be planning a summer trip before school starts.

Of course, it takes money to make a spectacular summer vacation happen. If you’re short on cash, here are seven tips to drum up the funds you need.

1. Work More Hours

Unless your parents are giving you money, you can't take a spectacular summer vacation unless you have a job and money. Decide how much you need for your vacation, and then decide how much to save each week. Once you get your paycheck, pay yourself first by setting aside cash for your trip.

2. Open a Designated Savings Account

Don’t keep vacation funds in the same account as bill money. Open a designated savings account, preferably with an online bank so the money isn't easily accessible. Shop around for a high-yielding account. If you can get a higher interest rate, you'll earn more off your deposits and grow your account faster.

3. Automate Your Savings

A summer vacation fund isn’t going to grow unless you put cash in the account. Since saving money is easier said than done, automate your savings. Your employer might offer direct deposit. If so, direct deposit a percentage of your earnings into your savings account. Or set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account on specific days of the month to ensure you're putting money in your account.

4. Sell Your Stuff

You don't have to sell all your belongings to afford a spectacular summer vacation. But if you have clothes, shoes or electronics taking up space in your closets or room, you can unload these items for cash. Have a yard sale, take these items to a consignment shop or sell online.

5. Save Free Money

Sometimes, money can fall out the sky. If you receive free money, such as a graduation gift, a birthday gift or even a work bonus, save this money for your summer vacation. Free money gives your account a big boost, making it easier to hit your savings goals.

6. Find Ways to Have Fun for Free

Saving for a summer vacation doesn't mean you can’t have fun in other ways. You can continue to go out and have a good time. The trick is finding free ways to entertain yourself. If you can reduce your weekly entertainment budget, you can save more cash for your vacation. Rather than spend your weekends at the movies or eating at restaurants, look for free activities like a free concert in the park or play sports on the beach.

7. Plan an Inexpensive Trip

You can also make a summer vacation happen by planning an inexpensive trip. Going on vacation doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Choose a destination close to home so you can drive instead of fly. Also, look on Groupon for getaway or hotel deals, as well as restaurant deals in the area where you're traveling. If you can plan a cheap vacation, that's less money you have to save.

Going on a summer vacation with your friends might be the trip of a lifetime, and it might be one of the last opportunities you have to spend with friends before entering the real world. With these savings tips, you can save money and have a vacation you’ll remember. What are other ways to save for a spectacular summer vacation?