Summer is the season of leisure, sun-kissed skin, and high weather, but it is also the second most costly season after the Christmas season. When you think about it, it makes logic. After all, all of the summer activities and celebrations—daytime trips and late nights, celebrations and vacations—amount to a lot of money. And, at the end of the day, we’re all prone to succumbing to the season’s frenetic enthusiasm and overlooking the financial consequences.
Despite the fact that summer is just around the corner, you don’t need to be concerned. You can still have a great summer without spending a lot of money if you do a little planning ahead of time. Continue reading to find out how to get your wallet ready for summer.
Make a financial inventory.
To make sure you’re financially prepared for the summer, you must first understand what you’re up against. Calculate the entire amount of your living expenditures, whatever debt you’re paying off, and what you’re setting away to deposit into a savings account or investments to get a sense of your present financial condition. Subtract that amount from your income once you’ve calculated it. This will give you an indication of how much money you’ll have left over this summer to spend as you like.
Take the time to review your spending patterns, which you may do by consulting credit card statements, bills, receipts, and bank statements. These diagrams will show you where your money is going, allowing you to identify more efficient methods to reroute it and fit it into your summer budget.
Begin making tiny lifestyle adjustments right away.
Examine your spending to determine if there are any areas where you may save money or cut back for the time being. Take use of your local library if you’re a voracious reader; you may borrow almost every book that has ever been written, save hundreds of dollars, and see how your tax money are put to good use. Furthermore, in addition to hardcovers and paperbacks, most libraries also provide e-books and audiobooks. Making tiny adjustments now and throughout the summer will offer you greater freedom to go out on the spur of the moment since you’ll have more money to spend. Simple changes like canceling your gym membership and exercising outside instead, or avoiding takeout in favor of cooking more meals at home, may make a tremendous impact.
Monitor your debt repayments and savings.
The last thing you want to do is keep raiding your emergency money to keep your summer lifestyle afloat, so figure out how much you have currently. Determine a quantity that you don’t want to fall below (for example, if you have $10,000 in savings, your baseline may be $8,000.) You don’t have to meet your baseline, but establishing one will assist guarantee that you’re contributing to your savings on a regular basis and not wasting money. Make sure that whatever amount you choose is sufficient to soften the impact in the event of an emergency; the typical rule of thumb is to have three to six months’ worth of expenditures saved up.
Furthermore, having debt hanging over your head might make it difficult to sleep at night, so if you have any modest debts you can pay off right now to relieve some of the strain and give yourself more spending freedom, do so. Consider utilizing a debt payback software to get yourself more prepared before summer begins if you’re paying off huge sums of debt. Tally is an excellent choice for individuals who have a lot of credit card debt to pay off, while ChangEd is a wonderful alternative for those who have school debts to pay off. These are just two instances; always do your homework and due diligence to ensure you know precisely what you’re getting up for.
Go on a budget-cleansing spree.
Going on a spending detox for a week or two is another approach to truly strengthen your budgeting abilities and save a little more money before summer. During this period, don’t spend money on anything other than basics. A spending detox is a great method to push yourself to be more responsible with your money while also unwittingly forcing you to develop healthier spending habits. It’ll also make you aware of any unneeded purchases you’ve made in the past. It’s a win-win situation all around.
Take a look at what you’ve written down.
Check your calendar for any impending events or festivities that you’ve previously scheduled, such as birthdays, cookouts, weddings, baby showers, and so on. Doing so ahead of time can help you avoid any last-minute financial surprises and make preparing your summer budget a lot easier.
Calculate a preliminary estimate of how much each event will cost once you know what you’ve penciled in. Which occasions do you need to purchase gifts for, and how much can you afford to spend? What will the cost of beverages and food be at any parties you attend? Getting things in order now will not only make budgeting easier, but it will also give you a better understanding of how much money you’ll need in the end.
Replace your previous summer budget with a new one.
Budgets must be switched up every season, much like makeup and fashion trends. After you’ve accomplished the aforementioned procedures, you may start working on your summer budget. This will take the place of your present budgeting plan, and it may be done by hand, using a spreadsheet or template, or with the help of a budgeting program like Goodbudget or Mint.
The following items should be included in your summer budget:
- Enough money to cover living expenses comfortably
- Savings contributions and outstanding debt
- Expenses associated with any scheduled events or celebrations
- A little sum that can be utilized for unanticipated events like as a night out on the town.
Make a vision board for summer activities.
Create a vision board full of exciting, low-cost summer activities to manifest the summer of your dreams that won’t break the bank. Look for any forthcoming summer activities near you or in other cities and towns, such as art festivals, street strolls, carnivals, and feasts. Many of these kinds of activities are frequently free or extremely low-cost. Getting into the summer spirit by visiting public beaches, parks, or hiking trails is also a fun and economical way to do it.
On the other hand, remember that you don’t have to be out and about all of the time, even if the weather is lovely. There are a plethora of methods to truly enjoy summer from the comfort of your own home. What better way to appreciate the season’s laid-back mood than to unwind in your own home? Grab a bottle of rosé, assemble a charcuterie platter, and invite some friends over to relax outside or in the air conditioning. Watch the sunset with some pizza and champagne, or go stargazing with your significant other. The possibilities are infinite when the weather is great.
A vision board full of exciting and economical summer activities and ideas can help you avoid overpaying and provide you with something to go to for direction throughout the season. Summer is a time to feel youthful, wild, and carefree, so have some fun and be creative with your ideas. At the end of the day, remember that generating memories and having an incredible summer doesn’t have to be expensive.