6 Ways to Keep Your Summer Spending in Check
As the days get longer and the temperatures start to rise, you know summer is around the corner. Summertime is all about fun in the sun and enjoying life with friends and loved ones. And there’s no shortage of things to do either. There are music festivals everywhere you look, backyard BBQs, camping getaways, and happy hours on bustling patios. All of this fun can lead to good times but also wreck your budget. Before you let your finances go off the deep end, here’s how to keep your summer spending in check.
1. Budget for fun
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s what can happen when you don’t budget for fun during the summer. “Going with the flow” can mean spending more and more and more and suddenly you have a credit card bill you can’t pay back.
Think of the fun activities you want to do this summer. While you can’t do everything, you can do some things when you budget for them. What truly sparks joy? What will give you memories for years to come?
Add those things to your budget and prepare for that spending. In order to make room for those expenses, cut back on things that don’t really matter to you. Look at your expenses from the past month. Label each expense a “need” or a “want”. Then look at all your “wants” and see what things can go.
2. Find the free events
The good thing about summer is that there are also a ton of free events. There are free concerts, free parades, art walks, and cultural festivals. Check out free event calendars online. Look for free events on Eventbrite. Go to art openings. When you make an effort to find free events, you still enjoy summer and take advantage of everything your city has to offer without breaking the bank.
3. Access promo codes
If you’re buying something, always check for promo codes first. You can Google [product or service] + promo code to see what comes up. A little bit of research can go a long way to save you money. You can also check social media for promo codes or discounted tickets to concerts and other events. Sometimes people can’t go any longer and want to get rid of their tickets at a discount. Being savvy in this way can help you save money and keep your summer spending in check.
4. Keep a set amount of cash
As part of your fun budget, you can have a set amount of cash that you feel comfortable spending each week without an ounce of guilt. Maybe you get $50 per week to spend on anything you want. One week, you can go out for one nice dinner and drinks. Another week, you can get some gourmet ice cream and go to a local event.
Having a set amount of cash that you can spend each week will help you keep your summer spending in check. When cash leaves your hands, you’ll feel the pain and also have a more immediate idea of how much money you have left to spend. Keeping your fun money in cash can also help avoid unnecessary credit card charges.
5. Save money on gas and utilities
Summer can mean road trips and blasting the AC. In order to save money on gas, check out GasBuddy.com to find the most affordable gas in your area. If possible, walk or bike places to save money on transportation and enjoy fun in the sun.
Only turn on the AC when you’re home and it’s absolutely necessary. Keep lights off as the days are longer and brighter. You want to limit your utility use and be mindful as temperatures rise.
6. Practice saying no
You might get an increase in invites during the summer months. You can get invites for weddings, birthdays, barbecues, summer solstice bashes, and more. Some of these may cost money or include travel costs that may be out of your budget. While it’s not fun to say no, sometimes you have to.
Practice saying no to situations you can’t afford. Getting financially fit is about learning restraint. Not deprivation, but restraint. Just like you don’t eat dessert for every meal, you don’t indulge in everything you want to buy or get invited to. Saying no is like building a muscle. Keep practicing and it will get easier.
Having a bit of mindfulness and a plan can keep your summer spending in check. You want to have fun but also keep your finances in order and stay financially fit. As you work on your beach bod to look good this summer, make sure you’re staying fit with your finances too. Using these six tips, you can enjoy summer without going overboard.
Need help creating a summer budget? Your Financial Trainer is primed and ready to help you! Schedule your free 20-minute consult call here to get started.