Family vacations, kids’ sporting events, concerts, festivals and many other summer activities are in full swing. With so much happening during the summer months, it’s easy to over-spend. Many of us worry as if we have no control over what we’re spending. This fear of the unknown can bring about stress and anxiety, but some of this can come from simply not being 100% sure of what’s coming in and what’s going out.
Here are a few tips to help relieve some of that worry along with a couple saving tips.
- 1. Start by making a simple budget. Review your credit card and bank statements regularly. It’s amazing how simply putting a plan in place can be enough to reduce stress. Start with a weekly budget or review your monthly budget weekly to see if you’re on the right track.
- 2. Use old-fashioned cash. Seeing cash leave your pocket has a bigger emotional impact than swiping a card – you may be more reluctant to make impulse purchases with only cash.
- 3. Put a post-it note on your debit and credit cards. Write down a goal and attach the note to your card. Seeing your goal and having to remove it can help prevent you from over spending, plus it will help you determine if your purchase is really worth it to you.
- 4. Build up your emergency fund. Start small, such as covering three to six months of a utility bill or car payment. This way you’ll feel the satisfaction of accomplishment quicker. From there you can move to bigger expenses. You may be surprised how quickly you can build your emergency fund!
- 5. Saving money you’ve haven’t felt is less painful. Any time you run into some extra cash, stash it away in a retirement or savings account. When you get a raise, increase your 401(k) contributions accordingly, and boost your retirement account.