7 Summer Budget Mistakes to Avoid
Are you ready for summer? Me too!
It’s a happy time for sunshine, chillin’, and grilling. We leave our school desks, cozy homes, and daily rhythms for sandy beaches and cool adventures. But watch out! Summer can also mean lots of money goes flying out of your piggy banks.
Sometimes, we forget to save our money during this shiny season.
Spending more than we should is easy. In this blog, I want to help you spot the big summer money traps.
#1 Overlooking Seasonal Expenses
To start with, let’s talk about those sneaky summer costs. Think about the things that might cost more when the temperature goes up. I bet you can guess a few. Air conditioning? Yep! Fun stuff like going places, playing outside, and buying cold treats? Absolutely!
EIA once found that a regular house could add around 12% of electricity cost on air conditioning alone. The trap, my friends, doesn’t lie in these costs. No, the trick is forgetting to remember them when it’s time to count up our coins and bills.
Here’s how to outsmart summer spending.
- First, look back at your money paper (or spreadsheet if you’re techy!) from past summers. You might notice some patterns that give you clues. Bet you didn’t think you were a money detective, huh?
- Next, put away some money just for these sunny day costs. This will feel awesome when you’re prepped and ready.
- Lastly, keep an eye on how much you’re spending during summer. This will help you make sure that every dime is spent wisely and your piggy bank is happy, too! Let’s all make this summer one full of fun, sun, and smart spending!
#2 Overspending on Vacations
Summer means vacation time! But be careful; vacations can cost a ton if we’re not prepared. The numbers say it all. In 2019, regular folks spent about $1,979 on summer vacations. But fun trips don’t have to empty your piggy bank!
Ready for budget-friendly vacations? Let me share my top secrets:
- Plan early, don’t be shy. Dream up a vacation budget you can rock!
- Hunt for awesome deals: cheap flights, cozy places to stay, and fun stuff to do.
- Think outside the box! Choose cool places to visit without breaking the bank. Or try a staycation for extra fun.
- Keep track of your spending during your trip. You’ll thank yourself later!
#3 Neglecting Regular Savings
Summertime can make it hard to remember our piggy banks. Even so, keeping up with our savings is important. Bankrate found out that only 30% of people in the U.S. have savings. Your summer goals might make you happy, but don’t forget about your money dreams!
Here’s how to be amazing at summer saving.
- Set it and forget it! Make your savings automatic. That way, part of your money goes straight into your savings account.
- Think small and win big. Set savings goals that you can conquer during the summer.
- Get creative to make extra cash. Sell things you don’t need or get a summer job.
#4 Excessive Dining Out
Dining out is fun, but it can gobble up our piggy bank savings. Don’t believe me? CBC found that our food costs can zoom up by 9.7% during these sunny months. Yikes, that’s a lot! But don’t worry! I’ve got secret tips to help balance your love for yummy summer food and keep your spending in check.
Here’s how to enjoy summer dining without emptying your wallet.
- Look for Budget-Friendly Yummy Spots: Gourmet dinners are great, but great food can be found for less. Many towns hide tasty treasures! Yelp is your secret weapon to find them.
- Hunt for Food Deals: Restaurants love to share summer deals. There are happy hours, early bird specials, and discount days. Groupon’s your helper here, so log on and save!
- Potluck Party Time: Skip the restaurants and throw a potluck dinner. Friends, family, and food heaven without the scary bill. Sounds good, right?
- Mix It Up! Restaurant meals are tasty, but your homemade creations keep money in your pockets. Heat up the grill for a family BBQ, or cook up your favorite summer dish!
Did you know? Forbes says you can hold on to $16 for each meal if you cook at home. Wow! Now, you’re ready to enjoy the bright, food-filled days of summer without leaving your piggy bank hungry. Bon appétit!
#5 Ignoring Home Maintenance
Summer fun often makes us forget about an important friend – our home. Remember, it’s easier to stop problems before they start!
Not caring for your home in summer can lead to bigger headaches (and bills!) later on. Sizzling summer weather can stress your home, especially things like air conditioning.
Listen to this: The U.S. Department of Energy says if you neglect your AC, it becomes 5% -15% less cool each year. That means paying more for not-so-cool air. And in summer, we all want cool! But how do you keep your house in tip-top shape without emptying your piggy bank? I’ve got smart tips for you.
- Plan for Home Care: Just like you budget for food, toys, and vacations, do the same for your home. You might need to fix the AC, replace a broken oven, or give the house a new paint job. According to Home Advisor, people normally spend about $1,105 each year to keep their homes happy.
- Fix Small Problems Fast: A tiny issue now can grow into a big, expensive problem later. For instance, if you don’t fix a leaky pipe, you could end up with water damage costing thousands. Handle little problems now and save big!
- Try DIY: If you’re good with your hands and have time, DIY is a great save. Family Handyman is a helpful site filled with home improvement projects you can do. But remember, safety first! If the task feels too hard, it’s okay to call a professional.
Our homes need our attention to stay comfortable throughout summer. Plus, being proactive can save us from financial headaches in the future.
#6 Impulse Purchases and Summer Sales
Summer sales can clean out our piggy banks. Shiny deals make us want to spend right away, messing up our budget plans. In fact, CreditCards.com found that 55% of us have maxed out our credit card balance. Here’s how we keep more pennies in our pockets.
- Stick strictly to your list. Don’t hang around items you don’t need.
- See something pricey you want just now? Wait a day before buying. This cool-down time helps stop sudden spending.
- Say NO to those tempting sales emails. One click on ‘unsubscribe’ can save you money.
#7 Not Adjusting the Budget for Summer Activities
Our summer fun often costs more. We sometimes forget this simple fact. With camps, pool passes, concerts – oh my! – our spending sure bumps up.
Therefore, we should align our budget better.
- Budget for these costs ahead of time.
- Set money aside for different activities. Pick what’s most important to you and your family.
- Search for free or low-cost fun in your community.
Wrapping It Up
Well, that’s it! We’ve cracked the puzzle of seven common summer budget errors and beaten them with our smarter strategies. The goal is not to ditch summer fun but to enjoy ice-creams, swimming, and sunshine without causing headaches to your wallet.
We need to remember seasonal expenses, organize budget-friendly fun, continue saving, control frequent dining out, take care of our homes, avoid sudden shopping, and adjust our summer budget. A bit of planning today means a happier wallet tomorrow.
So, let’s jump into this summer smartly and without breaking the bank. Let’s make the most of this sunshine season, keeping our money safe. Happy, smart summer to all!