Summer offers lots of super fun ways to go broke. Don’t regret blowing all your savings by Labor Day this year!
Embrace the Stay-Cay
Yes, the Staycation, aka the Stay-Cay, may be the last thing you want after working diligently with little time off after the holidays. But Stay-Cay doesn’t mean staying inside your home, it can mean keeping within 60 miles of home and still having fun! Quality time in the garden, volunteering for a local event or cause, riding your bike around town, immersing yourself in a sport, hobby, or good book in your yard or at the park- these are all enjoyable activities to do during your Stay-Cay. Just remember: BUDGET YOUR STAYCATION the same way you would budget a vacation away! It can be all-too easy to splurge if you tell yourself you’re already saving money by not getting out of town on your days off.
Choose Your Festivals Wisely
Chances are, you know at least a couple of friends who are going to any given festival, concert, party, and event in a 500-mile radius, and maybe a few friends who are taking trips to festivals all over the country and world. At $50- $100 entry per person for parties and events and up to $250 entry + camping + travel fees for long-weekend festivals (and those are just typical prices for Portland and the Northwest!), plus food, beverage, and toiletries, the costs add up real quickly.
Learn to Say ‘No’
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is real- and it can cost you. Your best bet is to decide (perhaps with your partner and/or friends) which weddings, festivals, concerts, parties, or other events you really want to attend. Then start saving for them! The idea is compromise: The casual interest festival that ‘could be cool’ is a no-go so you can attend your cousin’s wedding; the friend’s neighbor’s wedding in Cancun is definitely out if you want to afford that 2-day concert camp-out you’ve been waiting all year for. Truth is, the real missing out is saying ‘Yes’ to something you’re not ecstatic about and realizing you don’t have enough money or time for the events you really do care about.
Prioritize Your Job
If you’re not at a place in your career yet where you can take off early sometimes or take days off here and there without getting behind or arousing suspicion, then you already know: Put your job first. In this economy, having a decent job should never be taken for granted. Plus, putting in the time during the summer when others are taking off early and shaving off hours in favor of partying is only going to help you move forward. Responsible time and money management is an attractive quality!
Stay Out of the Credit Trap
Rather than tapping into your savings, you may lazily decide to throw new designer summer clothes, a girls’ weekend in Las Vegas, or a rave in Baltimore onto your credit card. The only reason to do this is for the Bonus Miles (or whatever), and only if you have the money to pay the balance by the end of the month. A good rule to live by is, if you can’t afford something without putting it on the credit card or could only afford to pay back the minimum monthly balance which includes compound interest and fees, you DEFINITELY can’t afford it! Now, I get a lot of ‘what if’ questions about whether a credit purchase is justified, so I will add this: If Grandpaw-paw in Florida passes away unexpectedly (bless his soul), and you can only afford to fly down and stay at a hotel nearby by charging to credit and paying it back monthly… Well, this is why you have the card in the first place.
What do you do to save money? Let us know in the comments!