How to stay financially fit for summer
Most people want to get fit for summer, but it’s also important to stay financially fit and not get carried away with spending during the warmer months. Recently, Joe Heider appeared on New Day Cleveland to discuss budgeting tips and how to stay on track this season.
During the summer months, many families plan vacation. Ahead of time away, it’s crucial to create a budget for that vacation and stick with it. It’s easy to get carried away and feel like you aren’t spending real money. Families often put things on credit cards and spend more than they normally would on extravagant meals and gifts to bring home.
Before the days of credit cards, people would have to go to the bank and get travelers checks. This would define how much money they had available during their vacation so it forced them to stay on budget. Credit cards make it easy to overspend, and while you may not need to get travelers checks, just keep your budget in mind when charging the card.
Summer is a time to be enjoyed, particularly in northern climates, like Ohio, but it can’t equate to a vacation from financial discipline. Spending on summer wardrobes for you and the family may not seem like a large expense, but seasonal purchases can add up and get you off track. Many people may want to buy extraordinary items like convertibles or motorcycles or even put in a pool—which are all big expenses that may not fit into a budget. Be careful before getting caught up in the moment, and evaluate what purchase decisions are worthwhile, or find budget-friendly alternatives.
Summer activities for kids
Prioritize what camps and activities are most important for kids to participate in and see what can fit within the budget for discretionary spending. Involve kids in planning and budgeting for the activities they want to do for the summer. In addition to camps, do they want to go to a water or amusement park? Spend time at a zoo? Kids can learn that these things cost money and as a family you can design your summer budget and stick to it.
For working parents who have kids that are school age, but not old enough to be home on their own, there are potential added childcare costs. Unless a relative can watch the kids while parents are working, it’s important to factor this expense in since your child will no longer be in school for six to eight hours day.
When planning for the summer, keep these costs and your overall budget in mind. With careful planning you can enjoy your summer and stay financially fit.