Summer Budgeting Essentials
Summer is a season for vacations, summer fun and relaxation, but it can also be one of the priciest times of the year and can put added stress on your budget. Whether you’re the head of the household or starting your financial journey with your first summer job, taking the time to evaluate your finances, set goals, and plan out your summer spending will help you enjoy your summer without the pressure of worrying about your finances. Luckily, you can utilize familiar budgeting strategies when creating your summer budget.
Evaluate Your Summer Expenses and Income
When creating a budget, it is best to start by assessing your current financial situation and evaluate any upcoming changes to your income and expenses (fixed, variable, and periodic). This will give you a good idea of where to start and the financial decisions you can make from there.
- “Do I have a nest egg for emergencies?”
- “Are there any big spending events I need to begin planning for?”
- “Will my income be changing in the coming months?”
- “How will summer activities impact my expenses?”
These are just a few questions that can get you started with understanding what you’ll need to create your summer budget. For more tips on completing your financial self-assessment, take a look at some of Austin Telco’s budgeting essentials.
Changes to your expenses and even your income can be highly likely for many people during the summer. Salaried positions are unlikely to change but for hourly employees, freelance workers, or contractors, incomes can be impacted by the changing seasons. Teens and young adults could also see their income fluctuate when considering summer jobs and how their summer activities impact their availability to work. If you are the main income provider, you will also need to consider how the cost of your household’s summer activities will impact your expenses.
A great way to keep track of your spending is to open designated deposit accounts for each expense category. At Austin Telco, we offer money market accounts with higher dividend-earning potential. If you use money market accounts to separate your vacation funds into separate accounts instead of leaving them in your checking account, you could earn a lot more dividends on your money. These are all things you should keep in mind when creating your summer budget.
Set Summer Saving Goals
A key step in the money management process is developing specific financial goals for yourself and incorporating them into your budgeting. Before summer begins, take another look at the financial goals you set for yourself and your household, track your progress, and make the necessary adjustments to achieve them. If summer expenses and vacations were a part of your original saving goals for the year, now is the time to see if you’ve met those goals and consider how you can better strategize for next year. Taking this step will help you make sure your financial priorities are at the top of your mind when deciding the best spending habits to implement for a stress-free summer.
Teens and young adults often have different priorities when it comes to summer saving goals. Many will notice a cash flow will increase and begin making short-term saving goals for trips and activities with friends and family. However, this could be a great time to look ahead toward those long-term goals like saving for a car, planning for college, or an emergency fund. At Austin Telco, we make it easy for our young members to start building their true financial futures with our easy-to-open Youth Savings Accounts. No matter what your summer saving goals may look like, we’re here to help.
Create A Summer Budget
After evaluating your upcoming summer expenses, income and setting some summer saving goals, you’re ready to start creating your summer budget. There is no one size fits all budget. Every household has its own priorities when it comes to spending, but any good summer budget should:
- Prevent impulsive spending
- Identify expenses that can be reduced
- Help determine what you can afford
- Help increase savings
- Help repay debt
Once you calculate your income and expenses, compare them. Start by subtracting your summer expenses from your income. If you get a negative number or a number that isn’t enough to cover your regular monthly expenses, then you are overspending and you need to strategize again. On the other hand, you could find that you’re in a better position than you may have realized before and can set aside extra cash to help you prepared for unpredictable summer costs.
you find yourself overspending, try cutting back on unnecessary expenses and opt for more affordable summer activities like attending free community events or shopping summer sales. While you don’t want to make your summer budget so rigid that it is unrealistic, you do want to be mindful of how well you’re able to stick to it so that you don’t end up having to sacrifice your summer fun.
Manage Your Summer Finances at Austin Telco
At Austin Telco, we have all the resources you need to get started on creating a summer budget that works for your household. Try using one of our financial calculators if you need help evaluating your expenses or open an Austin Telco savings account if you’re ready to start working toward those saving goals. Whatever your financial needs are this summer, we’ve got you covered. Don’t miss out on your summer fun because of bad financial planning. Give us a call today or visit your local Austin Telco Federal Credit Union branch to start building a true financial future built for summer!