How to Keep Your Finances in Check This Summer
Summer is upon us and, although the weather is variable, most of us can’t help but feel a little more like getting out and about in the sunshine. As the relaxation takes precedence it becomes important to be mindful of your spending. Let’s explore some ways to keep your finances in check to avoid disaster later in the year.
It’s no secret that planning is the key to staying in control of your finances. It can be tempting to ignore the figures and “think about it later,” but it’s much wiser to keep an eye on outgoings and bottom lines. Start taking account of your expenditures and you will be in a much better position to achieve your future financial goals.
Begin by looking at the unavoidable costs: monthly outgoings like your rent/mortgage, other bills, travel, and basic food shopping costs. Then consider your leisure activities and optional costs. I’m not going to ask you to cut these out, but you may have to make some sacrifices if your numbers don’t add up.
Everyone’s numbers are different. PokerStars players like Phil Ivey regularly rack up millions in earnings, but most of us are working with a much smaller budget. The main concern, then, is to keep your spending less than your income.
If you need to reduce spending, one of the best ways to go about it is to cut out the little costs. In other words, the purchases that you think don’t matter at all. They add up in the end. For example, think what you would save daily if you cut out one or two on-the-move coffees. Another great money-saving strategy is to take the opportunity to eliminate harmful behaviors and bad habits, which undoubtedly cost you money.
Fear not, though, because developing good spending habits can actually be enjoyable. You don’t have to give up anything that you don’t want to. You can also broaden your horizons and look out for opportunities to eat in more reasonably priced establishments, and attend events that are free or low-cost. The Leeds Castle Concert is less than £50 and offers a full day of entertainment. It makes for great value when compared to the price of major music festivals. Eating at traditional pubs like The Dorset Arms rather than silver service restaurants can also help you to save money, and be equally enjoyable.
You’ll also want to have room for maneuver in your budgeting. While it’s unlikely that you will be able to account for all your spending, the point is that unexpected events can cause a knock to rigorous planning. If you still have money left over, you can save it or use it to pay off any debts that you might owe.
To make you stay on track, it’s a great idea to have rewards and incentives when budgeting and saving. I don’t know about you, but for me it really helps to have a goal and a reason to save, whether you want to afford a holiday in the future, save up for a car or down payment on a house, or make life easier for your loved ones. With set rewards in place, you are more likely to stay on track. Wishing you a healthy, happy, and financially secure summer!