Strategies for Sticking to Your Budget This Summer
The summer season is for the enjoying and we encourage you to do so, but mindfully. No one wants to look up at the end of September to find that they have been set back weeks or months on their financial journey. Try following a few of these tips to keep you on track.
1. Evaluate your current financial situation.
Every good plan begins with knowing where you’re starting from. This first step is especially important this year when many of our financial situations have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Establish how much debt you have and how much of you income is disposable at this time. Other questions you may want to ask yourself are:
● Has my employment been consistent and will it continue to be?
● What are my top financial goals and will I be able to stay on track?
● Will I be able to spend and still have money to save?
2. Make a plan and set limits.
We know that summer can spark spontaneity that we may not typically experience during other parts of the year but it may benefit you to do a little planning, even if it’s just a general outline. For example, if you know that there are different trips you would like to take over the summer, decide which ones are most feasible for your budget and plan your itinerary for each month. This should help you avoid impulse planning and overspending. Be sure to set spending limits for the small things as well. The little expenses are easy to ignore, but they tend to add up quickly!
3. See what’s free.
Lots of summer activities seem to involve some price of admission, big or small, but don’t count out the things you can do for free. Whether it’s a trip to a nearby state park or attending a community event, there are experiences to be had that won’t cost you a dime.
4. Don’t forget about the non-fun stuff.
It’s easy to do all of this planning for a fun summer, but even easier to forget about all the not-so-fun stuff. While you’re planning, take into account summer expenses that you may not be able to avoid. This includes higher utility costs, vehicle maintenance and gas, lawn care and home improvement, summer childcare, etc.
Budgeting doesn’t have to be a summer bummer, but it is wise to plan so that your financial goals don’t get shifted to the backburner while you enjoy yourself. Be practical in your planning so that you are able to enjoy yourself all year long.