How to avoid summer budget busters

04/28/2021

 

Summer can be sneaky expensive if you don’t have a smart plan for your spending. One of the main reasons is that it comes in small expenses that can rapidly add up or from making a last minute decision on a vacation. Even though summer is still technically more than 50 days away, now is the time to plan for how to navigate the summer financially.
 
What are the main reasons that summer spending gets out of control?
I think where most people end up in trouble for two reasons, first is that summer is such a long season and there are so many different opportunities to spend money. Second, the spending opportunities are often not high dollar but the sheer volume adds up quietly yet quickly without people really recognizing the impact of summer.
 
What are the budget busters to avoid for singles or couples without kids?
Entertainment expenses can be one of the biggest summer budget busters. There are so many events such as concerts, fairs, farmers markets and activities to attend that you could literally be busy every day of the summer. Even if the activity is free, the food, drinks and other purchases made while attending the free event can often exceed $100 per event.
 
How do families end up in a summer budget crisis?
It all starts with planning what the kids are going to do all summer long. Many parents like to keep kids active and enroll them in camps. Camps may not be expensive on a weekly basis but if you fill every week of the summer with a camp, that total cost might be more than you should spend. And if you are taking the entire family to weekend entertainment every weekend even free events might be costing you over $200 per weekend.
 
Summer vacations can often get expensive quickly, are there smart ways to save?
One of the best is to consider going to an off season destination or going very early in the summer before peak travel begins. Another great tip is to not have a destination in mind but rather look for deals in several locations and make your choice based on the best value. Couple this with booking at the last minute and you might be able to really reduce your summer vacation costs. Starting now on your research will allow you to pull the trigger quickly when you have the deal you want.
 
What is the best way to not spend more than you can afford during the summer?
Build a special summer only budget, much like you might do for the holidays. Decide how much extra you really want to spend during the summer and then give yourself a weekly extra spending budget. Track your spending each week and whatever you don’t spend, add to your following week’s budget. If you overspend in a week, subtract that from the next week. For families this is important to do now because camp signup season is well underway now.

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