I love to spend money when it’s nice out -- I mean, who doesn’t? It is the summertime, the weather is nice, and it is time to go outside and have fun, which usually involves spending money. There are generally two times a year that people spend the most -- the holidays and summer. The holidays make sense; the reason for the summer spending is people are moving, traveling, and coming out of hibernation.
So as you thaw out from the winter and go out to enjoy the summer sun, how do you keep your budget in check?
This is a question I used to ask myself all the time. It is one of the reasons I became a financial planner because after studying the science behind financial planning and addressing the problem, I had the desire to share it with others.
A lot of people say, “treat your finances like a business”, but the problem is that our lives are emotional. We spend because we want to do something, and it feels good. As I saw on John Oliver the other day, some people spend $4,000 to get a degree in Elf Spotting -- probably not a good investment but hey, some people like elves. We want to enjoy life, and let me tell you, it is OK to want those things and guess what, you should. However, let’s prepare for it.
Your goal should be to save money every month for that extra spending. You can create a separate checking account solely for this extra money, so you aren’t tempted to spend. To remind yourself why you are saving the $25 or so a month, title this checking account “Awesome, super fun time, spending money” and every time you check the balance, you will laugh and remember why you are saving.
The main idea is that before you have fun (and spend money), think about the next few months. With a little planning, you can save money to make sure you do not go into debt while having your summer fun. The most important thing is to think about it, plan for it, and make sure you stay on track.
Now that you have thought about it and planned a bit -- go out there and have some fun in the sun!