Financial status by the end of the summer
Summer is halfway over and the warm weather, barbecues and vacations have probably already taken a toll on your budget. It’s the perfect time to reevaluate your money goals by tracking your progress so far. It’s important to stay proactive about overspending by taking smart approaches that will keep you financially healthy this summer.
Review your current summer budget
One month into the summer season, is your budget stable? It’s always wise to review your current expenses to determine where you can cut them. It’s obvious that people spend more in the summer, so it’s important to factor these increased spending areas into your budget. Estimate 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. That will leave you with more for the end of summer!
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 fade quickly? If this is you, then it’s time to do an honest assessment of your debt. Feeling a little debt-ridden or on your way to reaching your debt-free goal? If you’ve swept the goal of paying off your debt under the rug, then maybe it’s time to remind yourself why it’s important to you personally to get out of debt. What are your views on the future? What does your life look like after debt? If this is the life you want, then start increasing your payments by just $5, which can have a great overall effect without interfering with your summer plans.
Reduce energy costs
Try to reduce energy costs where you can during the summer. First of all, grill more often. This will reduce the number of dishes used as well as the number of dishwasher cycles. Turn off the indoor lights and rely on natural sunlight. If it’s too hot outside, close the blinds to keep the house cool. Water plants with a watering can instead of running the hose, and try drying clothes outside on an old-fashioned line to avoid using the dryer.
Take advantage of the summer sales
During the summer months, there are many sales that can help you save. Food shopping can be especially hard on your budget. Get the most bang for your buck by using store coupons and checking your local store’s circulars. We recommend using Flipp, a free app that can help you collect all the store circulars in your area. This app can help you save 20-70% every week on your grocery bill.
Seize the power of old and discounted gift cards
When was the last time you cleaned out your wallet and found old gift cards? They can help you supplement your summer dining or shopping while on vacation. You may not know this, but you can purchase 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 to then use for your summer activities.
– You can buy discounted gift cards from over 4,000 retailers
If you don’t have cash, take some extra cash
If your summer plans have blown your budget, how about stocking up on some extra cash. What if you rent out a room in your home on Airbnb. You can dog sit by advertising on dogvacay.com or drive for a ride sharing service. So stop complaining about lack of money. Be creative and use the options that await you.
It’s very convenient to swipe your card wherever you go. Research shows that using cash as your preferred payment ultimately controls the amount you’ll spend by 12 – 18%. Elizabeth Jenkins, a hard-money lending expert, suggests putting your cash budgets into weekly envelopes. “Have an envelope for weekly food, entertainment, fuel, rent/mortgage. You’ll feel guilty if you take money out of the envelopes for unrelated expenses.”
Look at costs differently
Spending money can be addictive. How about spending “time” on things instead of spending money on things. Focus on activities that will expand your well-being instead of buying and collecting material items. For example, start an exercise program; find a hobby or work on renovating your home. In other words, put your energy into projects that may cost you little money but will be more beneficial to your home or family.
You can’t be too tight with your money. It should definitely adapt to your life. Summer is halfway over, so start marking down the rest of the summer to avoid overspending and going deeper into debt.
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