Summertime. The season of long, carefree days, warm weather, and endless opportunities for fun. However, it’s also the time when many are vulnerable to overspending. Here are four quick tips on how to avoid overspending this summer, so you can keep your finances in check and still enjoy the season.
STOP and take inventory – Impulse purchases are a sure fire way to blow up your budget. When there’s a purchase you want to make, take a moment to think if you really NEED it or if you can wait a little longer to get it. A few impulse purchases a month can add an additional $200 to your budget that you weren’t anticipating.
Opt for free/low-cost activities – The temptation to splurge on expensive entertainment, memorable dinners or partying is especially real during the summer. You can resist it by taking advantage of free or low-cost events, including picnics, free outdoor concerts, and museums. These activities are just as good as the pricier ones and provide an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills and still have fun.
Eat before you leave the house – The biggest area in your budget that creeps up on you is your eating out budget. All of those small purchases add up along with the new restaurants and food trucks you want to try. Avoid leaving the house on an empty stomach.
Don’t rely on credit – As always, credit cards can be dangerous and, if not handled with care, can lead to overspending and high-interest debt. Instead of relying on credit cards, stick to cash by withdrawing the budgeted amount you want to spend every week. This way, you can stay present in your finances, keep track of every dime spent, and avoid spending money that you don’t have and can’t pay back.
In conclusion, it’s possible to have a fun-filled summer without breaking the bank. It’s ok to make an impulse purchase now and then and treat yourself, but it’s important to have fun AND have a great relationship with your money. Keep in mind that with a bit of compromise, finding new alternatives, and budgeting, you can avoid overspending and manage your finances better overall.
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