Make Your Summer Sizzle With These Tips
With the weather heating up and summer around the corner, you’re probably thinking of all the fun you can get into this summer—weekend trips to the beach, amusement parks, cruises, outdoor concerts and more. We tend to spend more in the summer months because we want to get out of the house after hibernating all winter. However, if you plan accordingly, you don’t have to spend more just because the weather is no longer frightful. Most of us can’t afford to do everything. All too often we try to and that's what gets us into debt. Financing a summer vacation can have the potential of making it memorable in a negative way.
Here are some great tips to help you enjoy your summer and not end it further in debt.
- Plan ahead. Now it may be too late to do this, but this is a great tip if you want to get a start on next summer. Figure out what's important to you and make a list of all the things you want to do. If you know you want to take a family vacation or visit as many outdoor festivals as possible, start setting aside money for it. Establish a summer savings account. Calculate out the total cost and how much you need to set aside each month to turn that dream into a reality. Check out our Vacation Guide for more helpful tips on your next big getaway!
- Use points. Do you earn points with a hotel chain, airline, or roadside membership? If you’ve collected points throughout the year, you can redeem them to help fund your vacation. Also, some companies will give you a discount on hotels and attractions just for being a member.
- Cut out extra expenses. You know you’ve made plans, but you’re going to need some spending money. Because who goes on vacation and doesn’t spend a dime? Most likely, you’re going to want to get at least one thing. Instead of your daily Starbucks run, make your coffee at home. Take your lunch to work instead of eating out. These can make a big difference in your overall finances, as well.
- Increase your income. There is no better way to make more money than to go to work! If you work at a job where overtime is offered, take it! See if you can work someone's shift. You can also pick up a part-time job. Lots of places need more help in the summer due to the sales and people going on vacation. Take advantage of it.
- Check Groupon. Sites like Groupon and Living Social offer vacation deals all the time. You can have a nice weekend getaway without breaking the bank.
- Take advantage of early registration or ticket purchases to events. If you buy early you can typically get good discounts. Lots of events have early bird pricing to reward their customers for purchasing in advance. If you're purchasing several tickets, that discounted price can save you a pretty penny. Also, check for special discounts for groups to save a couple of bucks.
- Spend intentionally. Emotional spending leads to impulse purchases. Impulse purchases can lead to hefty debt if not taken care of quickly. So spend with intention this summer.
What if my focus is on building a savings and eliminating debt, can we still have fun? Absolutely!
Check out your local library for summer activities. Most of these are free!
Local retail stores, like Home Depot and Lowe's run classes for kids and their parents to build things together. This is often free or very inexpensive.
Get outside! Go to local and state parks, zoos, the lake, or your local pool. Some of these are FREE, and some come with an inexpensive price point.
For pricey events like fairs or festivals, look ahead for the deals and discount days. Remember, these events can get costly after you're in the fair or festival, so be sure to plan ahead.
I want you to have a great summer '18. Create those lasting memories with your friends and family, not lasting debt.