Summer always has a way of presenting extra, unplanned expenses. Increased social activities or travel may put a dent in your savings. You may find yourself using your credit cards more frequently. Here are tips to help you stay financially on track this summer:
1. Make a budget. Evaluate your current finances. If you are already pushing your limits with expenses and costs of living, determine where you can make adjustments to account for summer events. Then, make a budget for your summer vacation plans and stick to it. You have earned your time away for relaxation or exploring, but over-spending only sets you back when the vacation is over. Look for ways to cut costs such as eating dinners in or packing lunches while on vacation.
2. Look for deals. Once you have determined your budget for vacation, do a little research to see where you can save. Stay flexible with your vacation dates, as certain weeks may be cheaper than others. Scoring a cheap flight or hotel can free up funds from your budget for other activities. Finding a bargain can make your overall trip better and is worth the extra effort!
3. Don’t forget about your bills. Before you kick off summer or a vacation, make sure you have taken care of any payments or bills that may be due. You want to enjoy summer or a vacation as much as possible, without worrying about late bill payments or penalties.
4. Keep prioritizing saving and paying off debt. If you transfer money into savings, retirement, 529s each month, make sure you continue to do this through summertime. If you aren’t already, make these transfers automatic so you don’t try to cut back on how much you are saving to compensate for summer spending. Also, don’t hit the pause button on debt payments to compensate for summer spending. Putting yourself into a financial hole for your summer fun isn’t worth it and can cause major setbacks for long-term financial success. Keep your bills and savings a priority, even with increased seasonal spending.
5. Don’t forget your thermostat! If you are leaving your house for an extended period during the summer, set your thermostat temperature higher. No need to pay for expensive cooling when there is no one home! Or on a normal week, consider raising your temperature during the day when no one is home.