Summer brings sunshine, good times and plenty of fun. But do you know what’s not plenty of fun? Blowing through your entire summer fun budget in the first couple of weeks! According to a study done by NerdWallet, “Over 4 in 5 parents of children younger than 18 (81%) say they’ll be going on a summer vacation and plan to charge an average of $1,019 to their credit card.”
In order to keep your family spending on track this summer, follow these simple steps:
1. Have an honest look at your expenses and spending habits.
Making sure that you incorporate effective budgeting into your spending habits set you and your family up for guilt free summer spending. What good is a vacation if the grey cloud that is your finances is floating over your head?
2. Replace current expenses with anticipated summer.
expenses. Begin to swap out seasonal expenses like upcoming holiday spending or high heat bills and start saving those amounts. Use that money that you are already used for typical spending and place it in a summer fun fund. This can be used for a night out to dinner as a family, weekend camping trips at the lake or anything else that you family does for fun.
3. Mix in free summer plans.
Remember, it costs almost nothing to go outside and enjoy that summer sunshine. Going to a nearby lake, park or public recreation area are all great ways to entertain your family on a budget. Pack a picnic lunch with groceries you already purchased and hit road.
Pro tip: We know that gas prices tend to spike in the summer. Download apps like Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas in your area before you go.
4. Volunteer in your community.
Consider volunteering over the summer as a family to do some good in the community, all while saving the kids from insufferable boredom. It costs nothing to volunteer your time to your community! This is a great summer option that not only enables you to give back, but also teaches your children how to support their community. Check our local community calendars and nonprofit websites to see what volunteer opportunities exist in your area.
5. Let you credit card work or you.
Did you know that you can earn money while simply swiping your credit card? Earn rewards through your credit card purchases and use those rewards for family outings or special summer treats. Save up rewards points and cash them in for family prizes or dinners out on the town!
6. Encourage family wide savings.
The best way to turn a family vacation into a valuable financial education resource is to bring your kids in on the saving. Set your kiddos up with their very own savings account to get started. Create dynamic family conversations around budgeting for souvenirs, eating out and even travel expenses.
7. Cut the cord!
Sunny days are meant to be cherished outdoors! There is no better time than now to make the switch from an expensive cable package to a WIFI streaming service that costs a fraction of the price. You can use those WIFI streaming services to enjoy thousands of movies and tv-shows at a fraction of the cost. Cutting the cord doesn’t mean cutting out all your favorite movies and tv shows. With research, you can cut out an expensive cable package for lower cost entertainment.
8. Save the AC for the hottest days!
Have you ever taken a look up and noticed which direction your ceiling fan is going? During the summer, you’re going to want your celling fans to be running counter-clockwise in order to push the cool air down. Most in-home ceiling fans have a little switch on the side that controls the rotation. Careful climbing!
9. Pick up that summer side hustle.
Are you a family that enjoys bike riding or long afternoon walks? Turn those walks into family savings builders by signing up with a local dog walking service. Find members in your neighborhood who are seeking dog walkers and pick up buddy from down the block while out on your afternoon walk.
10. Find thrilling hacks.
Amusement parks are full of family fun; however, ticket admission can be incredibly expensive (especially for those with large families). Research memberships at nearby attractions and check ticket prices for discounts on low traffic days. $12 hot dog? We think not. Look for attractions that allow reentry, pack a lunch in the cooler and exit the park for an hour or so to chow down!
There are many ways to stay on budget during the summer. Global is always here to help you with great savings products, tips and financial coaching. Contact us today and let us help you reach your financial dreams!