Summer celebrations don’t have to break the bank. Our four-step plan means affordable holiday fun.
Summer’s here, hooray! After months of cold and unexpected snow, it’s time to kick back and enjoy with some fun summertime celebrations.
But as you get ready to kick off the season, don’t leave your money smarts behind. Here are four steps that can help.
Step 1: Plan ahead.
We’re all for spontaneity. But if you know being spontaneous sends your budget into the red, why go there? Instead, sit down with your family, friends or whomever you’ll be spending the holiday with and have everyone write down an activity wish list. Letting everyone have a say will go a long way toward making the holiday fun for all.
Step 2: Do a budget check.
It can be tempting to think, “Hey, it’s summer and I’m gonna live a little!” But we all know how fast those “live a little” moments can turn into a big bunch of credit card charges. And who wants to be paying for summer fun when the snow’s about to fly?
Look at the list of activities your gang came up with in Step 1 and try to assign a cost to each. If they’re old enough, get the kids involved. Is a trip to Noah’s Ark or a Brewer game on their wish list? Do they want to have their friends over for a pre-summer slumber party? Have them research the costs and report back.
Step 3: Revisit and refine your activity list.
Once everyone’s done their homework, add up the costs. Does that amount fit into your family’s fun budget this month? (And if you don’t have a monthly fun budget, check out Summit’s Climbr® and set one up. It’s a great tool and one that can really help you get and stay on track with your spending).
Need to cut some costs? Look at the activities your loved ones suggested. Can’t afford a Brewer game? Is there a minor league team you can root for instead? Waterpark too pricey? Create some water fun in the backyard or head to a local lake. Check online for cheap or free activities.
Be creative! Life’s best moments aren’t necessarily the ones with the highest price tags. Challenge your friends and family to see how little they can spend!
Step 4: Build in some little splurges.
We all need some little luxuries – and if you plan them ahead of time (and build them into the budget, instead of adding them on top), you’ll be able to have a great time and stick to your budget too.
Now get out there, own your money and have a great summer! And if you want help reviewing your budget, our Summit financial experts are here to help.