School's Out: 5 Ways to Financially Plan for Summer
Last year, Business Insider reported that Americans spend an average of $1,979 on summer vacations per person. Multiply that by however many little ones you’ve got in your family and it’s easy to see how your budget can get out of control during the summer season.
This year, things look a little different. Social distancing, travel bans and overall concerns about COVID-19 look to put a stop to expensive summer vacations. And, while that’s great on your budget, you’ll still want to engage in some financial planning to ensure you come out of summer 2020 more financially fit than ever.
With these financial tweaks, you’ll be able to ensure your budget stretches throughout the entire summer with all of the kids out of school while also ensuring that you make it to the fall with enough cash left over to enjoy.
1. Track Your Expenses
Creating a solid summer financial plan starts with tracking your expenses. In fact, you’ll want to look into downloading a financial planning or budget app to help ensure that you’ve got a great overview of your income, expenses and spending habits. This will help you budget for the summer when kids are home and you might be spending more on activities such as summer camps, summer sports or other forms of entertainment.
To avoid overspending during the summer, it can be helpful to check out the envelope budgeting method. You’ll portion out your monthly income toward specific spending categories. So, that means that you won’t ever go over $200 monthly spending on summer activities, for example.
2. Wait 30 Days for Big Spending
One easy wat to curb your spending this summer is to wait 30 days for big purchases. If you find that it’s too hard to wait a full month, reduce it to 14 days or even a week. Especially during the summer when kids are home and everybody is a bit more relaxed, it’s easy to find yourself lured into the trap of wanting to ease the boredom with some big purchases.
Whether you’re thinking of investing in a pool, a new bike or even some light renovations around the house, try to wait and give yourself a cooling-off period. More often than not, you’ll find that you don’t really need to purchase whatever it is you wanted. Or, if you find that you still want to make the purchase, you’ve at least had time to price match and look for cheaper options.
3. Set Up a Summer Activities Budget
This summer season, make sure to include a category for summer activities in your summer budget. With the kids home from school, spending undoubtedly goes up in certain areas. And, while you might have normally factored this into a yearly budget, it’s time to go ahead and get a bit stricter with your summer cash.
Think about all of the fun things you could do with your kids this summer now that the social and financial landscape of the country has changed a bit. Factor in the cost of each activity or even look for alternatives. If your children normally go to summer camp but can’t this year due to social distancing, you’ll be able to allocate that money towards another activity.
4. Check Out Summer Sales
From clothing to back to school items, there are a lot of great sales during the summer that you can take advantage of in order to avoid putting a strain on your budget. Traditionally, spring and summer clothing and merchandise tends to go on sale in June and July with end-of-season sales for cars and other larger items occurring around August and September to make room for newer models that arrive in the fall.
Definitely wait until about August to begin searching for deals on computers and other back to school items such as cellphones, electronics, and backpacks. According to Consumer Reports, computers are often reduced 30 to 50% during this season and cell phones are discounted 20 to 30% as well.
5. Optimize Your Spending and Saving
While on summer vacation, especially in the current times, you might find yourself with a bit more time on your hands than usual. Whether you’re working from home during the summer break or find yourself furloughed or perhaps navigating the uncharted waters of unemployment for the first time, it helps to learn how to optimize your spending and saving.
While this usually looks like reducing your spending, paying with rewards credit cards and tracking your expenses, there are other ways to unlock savings without having to change much of your lifestyle. Signing up for the Cheese Debit Card is one of the easiest ways to do just that.
Saving While Spending on Summer Fun
Saving while you spend, is that even possible? Yes, with the Cheese Debit Card it is. Optimizing your savings and spending this summer doesn’t have to mean that you contract out the services of a financial planner.
Simply sign up for our FDIC-insured card, which comes with $0 in fees and additional charges. Avoid paying unnecessary fees as you work to earn 1 to 3% cashback on your purchases. And, with our Double Cheese Reward, it gets even better.
Let’s say you spend $5,000 on a large home renovation or summer camp for your kids this summer season. You’d get $500 cashback if you pay using your Cheese Debit Card. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? Click here to learn more and sign up for your card today.