Summer is officially here, according to the calendar. While the official start of summer happened earlier this week, it has felt like summer since the weather has started to warm up and school let out. While there are many great things about summer – longer days, nicer weather (at least for the moment) and more activities to participate in – these things can also be budget killers.
Kids need things to do, and longer days entice you to be out and active for longer. This is on top of other summer expenses like vacations and higher utility bills from the heat. What can you do to prevent your spending from spiking?
Your plan of action
The best way to get ahead of the spending curve is to focus on saving money and reducing spending. Try these tips to put yourself and your family in the best position for a fiscally sound summer:
- Get in the right mindset– try finding fulfillment without spending money. One popular exercise is to write down three things you are thankful for every day. This helps you become more content and to stop searching for “more” and “better.” Try to focus on the great things you already have!
- Clear out your mind and your home- kick off your savings quest with a spring/early summer cleaning session. Not only will this help you in selling things you need and finding things you forgot you had, but it will also help you re-tune your wants.
- Try out “no-spends”- build up your savings account by trying out a days, weeks, or, if you can, months of no spending. While you may not hit your goal of spending nothing, focusing on spending less will help.
- Look for budget-friendly activities- church camps and activities put on by community organizations are often low in cost, so be on the watch for those. There are also plenty of festivals, outdoor parties and other events during the summer that may cost little or nothing for an evening of family fun.
- Do more of your own cooking- it’s so easy to “grab a quick bite to eat” somewhere or to take the kids out for dessert on long summer evenings. Instead, produce more meals at home. They are generally healthier, in smaller portions and more satisfying than $40 spent at a restaurant that can be too cold or too loud.
What other ideas do you have for curbing your summer spending? You can let us know by leaving us a comment or posting on our Facebook page.
Summer is meant to be fun, but that shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of your finances. Look for ways to have fun and stay entertained while being conscious of costs this summer.
Titonka Savings Bank, Member FDIC