Summer is here! And as the festive holidays approach, the banking app is opened more than usual to ensure you still can afford tonight’s meal. Yes, we all understand how financially tricky the summer holidays can be, especially with all the gifting, festivals, vacations, and so forth. The big question for most people (admittedly asked more often after the summer) is this: How can you handle your summer holiday finances better?
Read below to find out our top five tips on how to have a financially safer holiday this summer!
Set Spending Limits for Prezzies
Setting a spending limit on gifts is at the top for a reason. It can be tempting to go all in and buy the best gifts for everyone. However, when your finances aren’t in check, this is a detrimental move to your bank’s health and wellbeing.
The first step is to set a budget for overall gift shopping. Doing this before you even step out the door can make or break your spending behaviour. By having a budget to stick to, this gives a lot less leeway in going over the top with presents. Next, you want to either set a spending limit on individual people or a standardised one for each gift. By doing this, you restrict yourself to knowing what you can and can’t buy and guarantee a financially happier summer long-term.
Be Real with Yourself
Let’s be realistic; everybody wants to think they have all the money in the world or can make up the costs with extra work. But, in all honesty, we know overspending can become an issue if left unchecked, and our finances aren’t always the best they can be.
How do we overcome this? By asking yourself the right questions, you can honestly assess your finances and find the best ways to approach upcoming expenses.
Ask yourself; what are your main expenses for summer? Can you afford any leeway with planning or extracurricular activities? How financially stable are you after these expenses are calculated?
By asking the right questions, you can enjoy your summer significantly more without worrying about your bank balance!
We also must acknowledge that it may be necessary to apply for a loan or borrow from a friend. Sometimes life doesn’t wait, and you need the funds at a specific time. That’s ok! Just ask yourself whether these options are viable, and if so, how will you pay it back and how long will it take?
Again, it is being reasonable with your decisions and planning based on realistic circumstances.
Build Healthy Spending Habits
Building good habits is hard regardless of what area. However, with a few tricks, you can quickly build a habit and be on your way to a better summer financially.
Sticking to a commitment for 30 days is one of the best-known ways to build a habit. By committing to a spending budget either per day or per week, can help your finances stay intact and make a healthy spending habit.
However, don’t knock yourself down if you struggle to stay below the limit! Habits take time and commitment to building, and sometimes we can’t always stick to a specific limit every day. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, stay imperfect, but make sure you are constantly reminding yourself of your goal and the purpose of the habit.
Keeping your principles simple is another proven method of building a habit. Don’t make too many rules to stick too, or we all know how quickly the whole plan falls apart. Make a few fundamental principles to abide by and stick to them! This could be making a spending budget every week and planning for the upcoming expenses (maybe you plan to pack a few lunches instead of dining out). Simple but effective habits can make or break your commitment to them.
There is an abundance of tips for building habits; however, it is up to you to commit to it and make sure you are making the most of your hard work.
Track and Manage Your Spending
A popular trend of tracking anything and everything in life with many apps to choose from has made managing finances more straightforward than ever. By tracking your spending, you can appropriately manage your budgets and even adjust them based on how much or little you’ve spent in the past.
The benefit of tracking your spending is that it accompanies the other tips we mention here. Learning your current spending habits, categorising your expenses, and implementing changes based on your findings — all these can help improve your overall financial health.
Importantly, tracking gives mental clarity in knowing exactly where your finances stand and being able to make spending decisions based on your current financial situation.
Hunt for Coupons
Who doesn’t love a bargain? Finding coupons for restaurants, activities, or events can help you save a little extra over the summer holiday. Coupons are found all over, from databases, apps, magazines and more, you can be sure to find bargains that help you save.
We want to note, however, that coupon hunting can lead to unhealthy spending habits, too. Keep in mind what you are wanting to save on when looking for coupons. We have all found a discount on something we would’ve never bought or done if it wasn’t on sale. Beware of the bargain; it isn’t always necessary to scoop up everyone you find. In saying this, make sure you keep the extra coupons as you never know when you may need them!
Don’t Forget to Enjoy Your Summer Holiday!
All this talk of saving, tracking, spending limits, habit building and coupon hunting can make summer holidays sound a lot less appealing. However, done right, you can have the best summer yet, and even better, you could still have money left over! The tips we have recommended are to make your summer a happier and financially healthier one for you, not to make it any less enjoyable. Even if only one of these tips speaks to you, do it, and get outside and enjoy your financially stable holiday! 🌞