When summer starts, all everybody wants to do is enjoy the season. According to the statistics, the months from June till August are the period where Americans spend a lot of money on leisure activities and travel.
It is also a time that, inspite of the frequent money spending, people do not keep track of it. No wonder credit card debts pile up during summer! According to a report produced last year, almost $2000 is spent by average Americans during the season, and they’re not solely because of going to the best vacation spots. Even everyday expenses are affected by the summer months, people tend to spend more than they used to, even when not on vacation. But do not despair; there are certain steps that you can take to make your summer debt-free and enjoyable.
PLAN YOUR SUMMER EXPENSES
The reason why everyday expenses are affected by the summer months is because of opportunities available to you which are not possible during colder months. One of them is to sip on cold beverages. Just spending a day out during summer you will feel your throat go dry so you tend to buy cold drinks frequently than usual. That is already spending more than you used to. When weekends come, you feel the need to cool off at a nearby beach or resort, and not really go on vacation per se. That is already an unplanned expense. Overspending on those kinds of splurges happen because people are not able to keep track of them since they happen on impulse. So the key to not overspending is to plan and keep track of the money you put out. Summer splurges normally fall under what is called ‘unfixed expenses’, specifically its category where you don’t see the expenses coming at all. One way to plan for what you will spend during the hot season is to create an emergency fund before it comes. You know you will spend more you just don’t know how much and when – yes this is exciting, but when it’s time to pay your credit card bill, that feeling will definitely change. To avoid debt from piling up, you can save up money, months before the summer arrives. That way you can dip in that fund and not worry about getting into a lot of debt. Yes you can still use your credit card to get rewards and other perks, but at least you know where to get the extra money from when the bill arrives. On the other hand, to keep track of your summer expenditures, it’s wise to record all your expenses on apps such as BudgetPulse where you can make an inventory of your summer expenses.
ENJOY SUMMER FOR FREE
Believe it or not you can enjoy summer even without spending any money. Ever heard of free activities during summer, such as free outdoor concerts and movies, and workshops? Some groups also provide free entrance to tourist attractions near you. You only need to be resourceful in finding such activities, and the local library is a great resource place for this. And don’t forget that going to a nearby beach or to a park with your family and bringing along food for picnic is already your way of enjoying the summer season for free. Well, you will spend on a little extra for gas and food – not too much overspending in our opinion.
BUDGET FRIENDLY ENJOYMENT FOR YOUR KIDS
Summer vacation is the time for families to spend quality time together, a reason why most parents splurge without thinking of the debt they incur afterwards while doing so. There are places you can go to and enjoy time with your kids that offer cheaper entrance fees on certain days of the week – and there is no harm by going during those days to cut off your expenses (as much as in half). Water parks, zoos, educational places like museums and giant aquariums, and theme parks – one of them, or perhaps alls, provide different pricing on ordinary days even when it’s summer.
SUMMER WEDDINGS ARE EXPENSIVE
If you are married and feel this is not a problem to you, well, think again. Summer weddings can really be expensive both for the couple getting married, as well as their wedding guests. If you are a guest and you cannot ‘not’ but need to fly in for the wedding, there is no way for you to plan your expenses because you cannot possibly predict if people close to you will be getting married during the summer. An emergency fund you created months before can really be helpful when you become a summer wedding attendee. In case you did not prepare and do not have money saved up, the trick is to find places or hotels to stay near the wedding venue that’s affordable. Or much better, you can split expenses by sharing a room with a close family and friend. So much better will be to stay for free in case there is accommodation which is being taken care of by the couple, during the event.