As the seasons change and winter starts to…
5 ways to love your budget this summer
There’s lots to love about summer, but with all your focus on activities and fun, it’s easy to forget about sticking to a budget. And that could lead to overspending and delays in reaching your financial goals.
That’s why we’ve put together 5 tips that will help you show your budget some love while having a memorable summer.
Mid-year is a great time to review your budget.
- Update your budget. Has anything changed in the past few months? Make sure to adjust for changes to income or fixed expenses, or for debts you’ve paid off.
- Track your spending. You can do this using a budgeting app, a spreadsheet or a spending journal. You could even save your receipts and keep them in a folder.1
- Make time for budgeting. Your days can get busy in summer, so try to set aside a quiet time each week to review your budget and plan for the week ahead.
- Plan your spending. Planning an outing to an amusement park or other attraction? Help your budget stay in shape by planning your spending in advance. Research prices for tickets and look for deals and coupons. Set spending limits for food and other expenses and stick to them. If you can, save money and take along a picnic lunch.
You don’t have a budget? No problem! We have everything you need to start one right here:
Do you have plans for the summer? Would you like to buy a swing set for the kids, or do some home improvement? Is there a special occasion on your calendar? Setting up a separate savings account is a good way to set aside money for summer expenses like these.
- Choose an account. Shop around and find a savings account that doesn’t require a minimum balance or extra fees. Decide how much money you’ll need and how long it will take to save that amount.
- Set aside savings. Decide on an amount to set aside each week for savings. If you can, set up automatic deposits from your paycheck to make saving easier.
You can learn more about saving for a short-term goal here:
As the temperature rises, so can your utility bill. Being mindful of your utility use can help keep expenses lower.
- Start with your thermostat. Can you raise the temperature a few degrees and still be comfortable? Make sure your vents are clean and free from obstructions, so air conditioning can work more efficiently.
- Keep the kitchen cool. Avoid heating your kitchen by grilling outside, or by using appliances like a toaster oven, microwave or multi-cooker to prepare meals without turning on your stove or oven.
- Schedule appliance use. Your dishwasher and clothes dryer can add heat, too. Adjust your schedule to use them during cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late evening. If your dishwasher has a heated drying option, turn it off and let dishes air dry.
- Check your fridge. Your refrigerator gets a workout during the summer. Make sure it’s set to the proper temperature and check to see that the door seals completely when you close it.
You don’t have to spend a lot to have summer fun.
- Find the freebies. Many cities host free entertainment, including concerts, movies and community festivals. Check your city’s web page, newspaper or newsletter to find out what’s going on in your area.
- Head to the library. Check out your local library for free story times and other kid-friendly activities.
- Get back to nature. Grab your sunscreen and bug spray and explore a local park. Some may even have free programs for learning about nature.
Got clutter? Think of it as extra money in your pocket.
- Turn unwanted items to cash. Sell things you no longer use online or by holding a garage sale. You can also check for community-wide garage sales if you don’t want to hold one of your own.
- Budget your earnings. Add the money you earn to your summer savings account, use it to pay off debt, or use it for a family treat.
Once you’ve shown your budget some love, you can relax and have an awesome summer!
Click here for more ideas to help your summer budget: