Summer is halfway over and the warm weather, BBQ's, and vacations have already probably put a dent in your budget. It's a perfect time to re-evaluate your money goals by tracking your progress so far. It's important to stay proactive about overspending by executing smart approaches that will keep you financially fit for the duration of the summer.
Review Your Current Summer Budget
After a month into the summer season, is your budget holding steady? It's always prudent to review your current expenses in an effort to determine where you can cut back. It's apparent that people spend more in the summer so it's important to implement those amplified spending areas into your budget. Assess your recurring expenses by analyzing your debit and credit card activity. If you're paying for items or services you never use then get rid of them. This will leave you more for your end of summer fun!
Assess Your Debt
Be honest, was one of your new year's resolutions to pay off your debt? Like most of us, did that thought quickly fade? If this is you, then it's time you do an honest evaluation of your debt. Are you feeling a bit debt fatigued or are you on your way to reaching your debt free goal? If you swept the goal of paying off your debt under the carpet then maybe it's time to remember why it's important for you personally to get out of debt. What are your visions for the future? What does your life after debt look like? If that is the life you want then start increasing your payments by only $5, which can have a great overall effect without putting a crimp in your summer plans.
Cut Energy Costs
Try to cut energy costs wherever you can in the summer. First of all, grill outside more often. This will cut the number of dishes used as well as the number of dishwasher cycles. Turn off internal lights and depend on natural sunlight. If it's to hot outside then close the blinds to keep it cool inside the house. Water plants with a watering can instead of letting the hose run and try drying clothes outside on an old-fashioned clothesline to avoid using the dryer.
Take Advantage of Summer Sales
There are a ton of sales during the summer months that can help you save. Food shopping can be especially hard on your budget. Get the most for your money by utilizing store coupons and checking your local store circulars. We recommend using Flipp, a free application that can help you gather all the store circulars in your local area. This app can help you save 20-70% every week on your grocery bill.
Grasp the Strength in Old and Discounted Gift Cards
When was the last time you cleaned out your wallet and found old gift cards? These can help you supplement your summer dining or shopping while on vacation. You may not know this but you can buy gift cards at a discount. Raise.com can help you save money in two different ways:
– You can sell your old or unwanted gift cards for cash, which can then be used, towards your summer activities.
– You can buy gift cards at a discount from over 4,000 retailers
If You're Strapped For Cash Hustle Up Some Extra Cash
If your summer plans have busted your budget how about hustling up some extra cash. What if you rent a room out in your home on Airbnb. You can dog sit for dogs by advertising on dogvacay.com, or drive for a ride share service. So, stop complaining that you are short of cash. Be creative and use the options that are out there waiting for you.
It's very convenient to swipe your card wherever you go. Research shows that using cash as your payment of choice ultimately controls the amount you will spend by 12 – 18%. Elizabeth Jenkins, a hard-money lending expert, suggests you put your cash budgets into weekly envelopes. “Have an envelope for weekly food, entertainment, gas, rent/mortgage. You'll feel guilty if you take money from the envelopes for unrelated expenses.”
View Spending Differently
Spending money can become addictive. How about spending ‘time' on things instead of spending money on things. Focus on activities that will expand your well being instead of purchasing and collecting material items. For example, start an exercise program; find a hobby or work on upgrading your home. In other words, put your energy into projects that may cost you some money but will be more beneficial to your home or family.
You can't be too rigid with your money. It definitely needs to adapt to your life. Summer is half over so start mapping out the rest of the summer so you can avoid overspending and digging yourself deeper into debt.