Summer is a season of fun, relaxation and adventure, which also usually means it’s a season of spending. Keep you summer expenses in check this year and stick to your financial plan by following these summer budget tips.
Whether you usually follow a budget or have no idea what you spend on any given week, checking in on your budget is the first step to addressing your financial situation. What is your income? Your expenses? Your credit score? If you’re running over budget, it’s a good time to ask yourself where to cut back. If you are making more money than you thought, it might be time to meet with a financial advisor to discuss investment opportunities.
Think Beyond Summer
When creating your summer budget don’t think about your expenses for this season only. Think a year ahead. Are there big expenses coming up? Changes in employment? Winter heating bills? There are many expenses to think about before planning summer activities.
Make a List
Your financial situation may mean you are not able to do everything on your summer bucket list, so it’s helpful to make a list and cut unfeasible options. Pick a few activities you are sure you want to do as well as those that are best done in summer. Remember, fall is around the corner, and sometimes trips are all the better when the leaves are changing colour.
Plan Ahead, or Last Minute
Companies often offer deals and discounts on trips, flights and accommodation when you book ahead. According to Cheapair.com, the best time to book a flight is 54 days before the flight date, while any later than that is a risky time—fares could just as easily be either through the roof or dirt cheap.
Hotels are often at their best prices a month out from your stay; however, waiting until a day or two before your trip can also yield cheap results as the hotels just want to fill rooms. If you are into the risky last-minute lifestyle, it might just save you some money.
Get the App
We get it, you aren’t always thinking about your budget when you’re out enjoying the season. That’s why it’s helpful to have an app that will track your expenses and alert you when you’re over budget. For some great apps to keep you on track this summer, check out this list.
Become a Loyal Customer
Loyalty rewards programs really do (sometimes) work. Not all loyalty programs are created the same—some will require much more spending than the rewards are worth. However, if you get the loyalty card for your local grocery store, for the airline you are most likely to use, or any of these great options, chances are you can save a few bucks.