The signs are slowly starting to appear: the sun hangs around a little longer every day, the breeze is a little warmer, and the plants are looking a little greener… summer is on its way! We still have some time before it’s in full swing, so that makes now the perfect time to prepare your budget for any extra spending you might be doing in the next few months. I feel like I spend the winter hibernating, and I make up for my lack of activity all summer long by packing it full of fun adventures. However, not planning ahead can mean bad news for your bank account. Keep a few of the following things in mind to make sure your spending habits are summer-ready…
Plan ahead. If you can, map out any summer plans you’d like to include in the coming months to get a better idea of what your expenses might look like. This will help you to set aside more money now to offset those costs later. You can always change your mind later, but being prepared now will help you avoid any unintentional debt.
Review your current budget. Do you have any unnecessary expenses you can get rid of? Can you cut corners anywhere to save extra? Fine-tune your current budget to give yourself a little wiggle room for fun summer spending (without going overboard).
Compare costs. Looking for an affordable vacation? Don’t forget to compare hotel and travel rates from different providers. You can also save money by comparing the same rates at different times of the year; traveling before or right after the peak summer season is much more budget-friendly.
Conserve energy. Limiting your energy consumption can help you keep a little extra green in your pocket. Take advantage of the longer daylight hours and fill your home with natural light instead of turning on lamps. Set your thermostat to cool your house only when you’ll be home, and avoid setting it too low. Air-dry your laundry outside instead of running your dryer, and cook meals on the grill instead of turning on the oven.
Keep an eye out for seasonal specials. Need some new summer gear? Now is the time to check your local flyers for deals on commonly purchased items for the warmer months – think patio furniture, grilling utensils, and pool or swimming accessories, to name a few. Many stores start running sales around this time because they know people are starting to get ready to head outdoors.
What are your plans for this summer? How do you save money while still staying active and having fun?