Tone up for the summer, financially speaking

05/20/2020

Summers can be a surprisingly expensive time and this summer could even be more expensive amid all the changes. Getting your finances toned up for the summer doesn’t have to be difficult, it just requires a couple of easy money moves.
 
Why is it so important to be careful with spending for the summer?
Overspending on the summer can make it difficult to get back on track or save anything for the holidays. And if you have kids, you have the added expense of back to school shopping which might only increase your financial distress. People are often concerned about overspending on the holidays but the summer might be the most critical financial time for many people.
 
What is the biggest driver of overspending during the summer?
With summer we all usually get more active and have more projects. This increased activity level almost always causes an increase in our spending but because it is over a 2 – 3 month period we might not notice how much we have spent until the summer is over. We don’t often spend a large amount at one time like we would during the holiday season.
 
What are some of the expenses that are the major contributors to summer budget woes?
Children’s activities is usually one of the larger expenses, this summer it might be different with some camps being cancelled but as parents look for alternatives, this could get expensive. Another major one is summer purchases for things like summer clothes or outdoor furniture. Online enrollment and online ordering make it very easy to lose track of how much you might spend in a day.
 
What are important strategies to combat these summer financial issues?
Being patient and comparison shopping are the two most important strategies. For kids activities you will really need to be creative to find cost effective options. For other purchases, being patient and looking for sales is the best move. There will be sales starting Memorial Day weekend and lasting through the summer so wait to buy when your purchases go on sale. 
 
If cash flow is a problem, what are good places to look to trim the budget?
Summer is a great time to cut back your streaming services and other recurring charges that you may not be using as much This might also be the summer that you don’t splurge on updating your wardrobe, or you reduce entertainment expenses or that you eliminate or scale back any outdoor projects.
 
What is the most overlooked option for keeping summer expenses in check?
Building a summer spending plan and sticking to that budget. We often talk about a holiday budget but the three months of summer can actually be more expensive than the holidays. Outline what you want to do this summer and what you want to buy then research costs. With this information, you can then determine if you can really afford all of your summer plans.

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