When it comes to spending money, summer comes in second only to the winter vacations in terms of the total cost of goods and services. Upon reflection, this makes perfect sense. After all, the day trips and late nights, celebrations and vacations of summer rapidly pile up. All of us are at risk of getting caught up in this season's frenetic enthusiasm and failing to see how it affects our wallets.
Even if summer is just around the corner, you don't have to worry about anything. Getting the most out of summer doesn't have to cost a fortune if you plan beforehand. Make sure your wallet is ready for the summer by reading on!
1. Make a financial inventoryThe first step in making sure you have enough money for the summer is figuring out what you have to work with. Take stock of your present financial status by calculating your overall living expenditures, any debt you're paying down, and the amount you're saving or investing in a savings or investment account. Once you've calculated that amount, deduct it from your monthly take-home pay. A rough estimate of how much money you'll have to spend this summer is provided.
As a last step, take a look at your spending habits by examining your credit card statements, bank accounts, and receipts. You'll be able to see exactly where your money is going with these charts, and you can then utilize that information to devise new strategies for spending it wisely this summer.
2. Begin making tiny lifestyle adjustments todayFind ways to reduce your spending and save money for the time being by reviewing your costs. As a bookworm, take use of your local library; you may borrow almost every book ever written, save hundreds of dollars, and see your tax money at work. Most libraries now provide e-books and audio books in addition to their traditional paperbacks and hardcovers. You'll be able to go out on the town more often if you make tiny modifications now and throughout the summer. Even something as easy as giving up your gym membership in favor of walking or running may have a significant impact, as can cutting down on eating out in favor of preparing more of your meals at home.
3. Keeping tabs on your money and debt repayments is a good habit to get intoIf you don't want to have to go into your emergency fund to pay for your summer vacation, now is the time to figure out how much you have saved. From there, establish a ceiling (say, $8k) below which you will not spend any of your savings. It's not necessary for you to meet your baseline, but having one will assist guarantee that you're making regular contributions to your savings and not wasting that money on unnecessary purchases. Whatever amount you choose, be sure it's enough to cover three to six months' worth of costs in the event of an unexpected emergency.
It may be tough to sleep at night with debt hovering over you, so if there is any little debt you can pay off today, do so to ease some of that stress and allow for greater flexibility in your spending. If you have a lot of debt to pay off, a debt payment software may help you get your finances in order before the summer months arrive. When it comes to paying off credit card debt, Tally is the best choice, while ChangEd is the best alternative for individuals with student loan debt. As you can see from these two instances, it's critical that you do your homework and study before joining up for anything.
4. Take a spending fastSpending cleanses may be a great way to strengthen your budgeting abilities and save up some more money before summer. Do not spend money on anything except basics at this period. A spending detox is a great technique to drive yourself to develop better monetary habits without even realizing it. Unnecessary purchases will be brought to your attention as a result of this exercise. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
5. Take a look at the notes you've made thus far.For example, birthdays, cookouts, weddings, showers, and so on and so forth are all examples of future events and festivities. Doing this ahead of time can help you avoid any last-minute financial shocks and make budgeting your summer budget a lot simpler.
A general estimate of how much each event will cost may be calculated once you know what you have scheduled. What are the upcoming occasions for which you'll need to purchase presents, and how much money do you have to spend? What are the costs of food and beverages at any gatherings you plan to attend? Organizing your finances now will make budgeting simpler and offer you a clearer understanding of what you'll need to spend in the long run.
6. Replace your previous summer budget with a new one.In the same way that trends in beauty and fashion are always changing, so are finances. Once you've accomplished the aforementioned stages, you're ready to start working on your summer budget. Budgeting apps like Goodbudget and Mint may be used to replace your present system or you can do it manually using a spreadsheet or template.
The following are essentials to include in your summer budget:
1. sufficient funds to cover day-to-day costs of life
2. Efforts to save money and pay off debt
3. The expenditures of any upcoming festivities or events that are being planned.
4. A little sum that may be set aside for unanticipated events, like as a night out on the town.
7. Make a vision board for your summertime activities.Create a vision board with fun, low-cost summer activities to help you manifest the summer of your dreams. In the summertime, look for any scheduled summer activities in your area or in any neighboring towns to see if there are any that you can attend. Quite a few of these sorts of gatherings are either free or very low in cost. You may also get into the summer vibe by visiting public beaches, parks, or hiking trails.
However, despite the pleasant weather, you don't have to be out and about all the time. As a matter of fact, there are several methods to truly enjoy the summer from the comfort of your home. There is nothing more soothing than spending time in one's own home during this season. The weather is warming up, and it's the perfect time to bring out the charcuterie board and a bottle of rosé. Watch the sun set with a bottle of champagne and some pizza, or go stargazing with your special someone. As long as the weather is good, there are many possibilities.
Creating a summer vision board full of exciting and budget-friendly activities and ideas can help you avoid overpaying and offer you a resource to go to for inspiration all season long. Let your hair down and have fun with your ideas throughout the summer, when you're more likely to be careless and carefree. Don't forget that having a great time and creating lasting memories don't have to come at a financial expense.