Boost Your Budget
Summer is in the air – the nights are lighter, the temperature is warmer and we’re all looking forward to vacations and evenings out. But all of those things cost money, so it’s little wonder that the approach of summer can also make financial demands of us. And if we aren’t prepared? Then it’s either a choice of missing out on those fun summer events, cute new clothes and fresh pedicure or drowning in debt. So don’t let being in the vacation mindset get you off track with your funds, by preparing for summer spending in advance and saving money once you’re there. Here are some ways to boost your budget in time for summer!
Make Time For A Financial Review
If there’s one thing which doesn’t go well with smart money management, it’s the ostrich approach that many of us take to our finances. You need to know exactly what your income and outgoing are, and identify areas where you can make savings and shop smarter to spend less. Set an afternoon aside to update your personal budget, check out your credit score, review any debts on loans or store cards and seek out savings.
Compare the cost of your utilities and insurances to make sure you have the best deal and cancel off any unused subscriptions. If you haven’t been in that gym during spring, you’re unlikely to get that summer body overnight anyway!). Knowledge is power, and properly understanding your own financial position is essential to having a fun but affordable summer you won’t regret.
Add A Revenue Stream
If you have a specific savings goal like a trip abroad or a new summer wardrobe, take a look at ways in which you could boost your income temporarily to help you save and afford those treats without going into debt. Adding an income stream is a great idea if you want to know how to make money – from taking surveys online for cash to learning how to resell on eBay or offering a skill to others on a platform like TaskRabbit, there are lots of ad-hoc extras you can look into to make your spare time pay and help you afford those plans.
Avoid Being Too Spontaneous
Okay, it sounds a little killjoy, but being too spontaneous is an instant budget downer. It’s not that you can never do anything which hasn’t been scheduled months in advance, but spur of the moment plans have a habit of eating into your budget or being stuck straight on a credit card. Try to allocate a small amount in your personal budget for unplanned activities so that you can enjoy them without feeling guilty afterwards.
You could even try pulling together a list of all the fun things you’d like to do this summer – festivals, beach trips, exhibitions – and try to roughly estimate the cost. Then you can cross check this with the current state of your budget, and if you have the funds, go for it! Remember that you may also have to budget for the not-so-fun costs like servicing your car or going to see the dentist as well! Saving up even just a small amount a week can really help to offset the cost of large occasional expenses like this and keep you out of the red.