June 16, 2022
Ahh…summer! The season of flip-flops and sunscreen, of lemonade and baseball games. What’s not to love
Unfortunately, though, this time of year is also the season of overspending for many. When the sun is
blazing across a cloudless sky and the day stretches on with endless possibilities, purse strings are
looser, and cards are swiped with abandon. But nothing kills summer fun like a busted budget and a
mountain of debt. So, how can you stay financially fit?
Keeping your finances intact is well within reach if you’re ready to plan ahead and make responsible
choices. Here are four hacks for a season of financial fitness.
1. Prepare for a possible change in income
If you’re a freelancer, business owner or you get paid per diem, you can expect to see a drop in income
during this time of year. Business is notoriously slower across a wide range of industries during the
summer, so it’s best to be prepared for this reality. To avoid dipping into savings or going into debt,
you can trim your discretionary spending and use the extra funds to cover non-discretionary expenses.
You can also choose to find a side hustle to cover the gap in your income.
2. Get your budget ready for summer
Your budget will see some changes in the summertime, and it’s a good idea to prepare in advance instead
of being caught unaware. Here are some changes you can anticipate:
- Higher utility bills. With the AC blasting, your energy costs will likely be
higher. Water costs can rise, too, especially if you water your lawn and any outdoor plants and
flowers on a regular basis.
- Increase in fuel prices. Just when you thought it couldn’t go any higher, the price
of fuel continues to climb this summer.
- Travel expenses. Of course, if you’ll be traveling this time of year, it’s going to
cost you. If you haven’t yet budgeted for your getaway, start saving up and/or trimming costs from
other categories in your budget now.
- Social events. It’s wedding season, and they don’t come cheap, even if you’re not
the one in the white gown. You may also receive invites or host other events during the warmer months,
such as family reunions, block parties, anniversary celebrations and more. It’s best to budget for
gifts, the travel costs of attending these events and of course, for the expense of hosting, if
- Activities for kids. School’s out, and the kids need to be kept busy. Aim for free
activities whenever possible, but you may want to set aside some funds in your budget for occasional
activities that have a price tag attached.
3. Create a vacation budget and plan ahead
Aside from adjusting your monthly spending plan, you’ll want to build a workable budget for your summer
getaway to avoid overspending. Money choices are nearly always better made in advance, so plan for every
conceivable expense during your vacation. Attach a dollar amount for your hotel stay, car rental, food
costs, transportation expenses, entertainment and outings, gifts, and any other cost you might have.
Leave a bit of wiggle room for miscalculations but try to keep your budget as close to the actual cost
as possible. While on vacation, be careful not to go over budget and be open to a last-minute change of
plans if some expenses end up being substantially higher than expected.
4. Review and adjust as necessary
Like going off a diet, blowing a budget is never an excuse to go all out and overspend without sparing
a thought to the consequences. To avoid falling into this trap, resolve to review your budget and your
overall spending on a regular basis throughout the summer. You can choose to do this weekly, or
bi-weekly, but be sure to take a careful account of every dollar in and every dollar out. Being aware of
the state of your finances in real-time instead of waking up after the damage has been done will make it
easier to make responsible choices going forward.
The temptation to overspend is especially strong during the summer but following these tips will help
keep your finances intact.