Summer can bring on so many extra charges, as fun usually goes hand in hand with spending money, but you can still enjoy all that there is to summer by deducing money wasted on unnecessary spending, but to save where you can so you are able to splurge in other areas. I would much rather skip going out to eat a few times a week and turn that money saved into a weekend trip to the lake, by maybe just managing money a little smarter.
Keep Track of Every Dollar Coming and Going
It can be easy to lose track of where your money is going, especially if you do not check your balance or your statement often, you can be lucky if you are even breaking even at the end of the month, let alone carrying over a credit card balance. A great way to minimize purchases is to actually start looking at where your money is going. If you pull the previous month’s bank or credit card statement you can actually go line by line and see what was necessary or what probably could have been avoided. All of the avoidable purchases add up and see how much you could have saved.
Create a Budget
To take your finance tracking a step further, how about actually allocating a set amount of money that not only goes to paying bills, which is fixed, but how much you can spend on food, gas, and probably the area where you are giving the most, spending/entertainment money. If you can give yourself a set amount and only spend that much, you can avoid going over and being in the spending free for all that you are currently in today. Your budget will most likely need to be tweaked along the way and you figure out the minimum to be spent in each area.
Use a Credit Card Wisely
A credit card is not all bad, contrary to what we were taught when we were younger, that credit cards are used when you don’t have the money otherwise, but in fact if used responsibly they are great for the rewards benefit. Depending on the card, they can provide cashback in the form of points to be redeemed for gift cards, or some even offer actual cashback dollars in the form of a check sent to you once a year, all for just making the normal purchases you would make anyways.
Build an Emergency Fund
Speaking of using credit cards wisely, what about when something comes up that you are not able to pay for and then you have to put on a credit card and pay interest on until you can pay it off? Well if you can start an emergency fund for that very reason, you can have cash available if needed to use instead of putting on a card and then your whole budget will not be thrown off. Experts have said to have between three and six months reserves available, but that varies upon opinion.