With summer "twentyMINEteen" in full effect, Vitamin D and vacations can subconsciously be a source of both peace and pressure. Wedding season, brunches, last minute roadtrips, and other summer activities can lead us to spend more than anticipated.
While the extra sunlight often gives our moods a boost of energy, this can also contribute to more frivolous spending with increased cycles of shame, guilt, and avoidance when it comes to your finances. So whether you're a Hot Girl, a City Girl, or on your Lizzo flow this summer (cues your summertime theme song), here are a few tips on how to maintain your cool as things continue to heat up:
Gas yourself up while keeping your cool.Giphy
If you're hitting the road, try filling up midweek on a Wednesday or Thursday (notice any airline pricing parallel?). Simple economics (supply and demand) means gas stations have a tendency to bump up their prices on Friday when most people travel and fill up last minute. A little planning can go a long way. Want another hack when it comes to your utilities? Keeping your A/C at 68 degrees is a 60% increase in utility spending on average in comparison to 78 degrees when you leave your home. Remember to make this adjustment manually or check with your utility company about a technology upgrade allowing you to control your A/C remotely, helping you to keep your cool in more ways than one this summer.
Pay cash or use debit.
Using money you've already earned will save you a ton of money. Cash is queen (or "king" as they say) because we feel the "pain" of spending cash over a simple swipe of a card. But we also don't have a way to track what we have spent. Debit on the other hand gives us a breakdown of where we spent our money and helps us to avoid "credit card hangover" (where we tend to beat ourselves up when we make money mistakes, say we won't do it again, and then find ourselves spending more to cure the "hangover", further perpetuating the cycle). Spend with purpose and fulfill your emotional needs with awareness.
Go on a staycation.Giphy
Accommodations tend to be two-thirds of our already-growing expenses when it comes to vacationing. Add in gas, food, and fun money, you know how quickly this all adds up. On the other hand, a staycation can be lighter on our wallet but heavy in fun! Vacation rental sites like Airbnb, Noirbnb, VRBO, and Homeaway can give you more bang for your buck as well as the local feel we often crave when we travel. Pair this strategy with finding free fun, like creating a bucket list, attending free informational classes, parks, recreation, and other events, and you are well on your way to smart summertime spending with all the vibes!
Set a social calendar.
With increased events during the summer (can you say wedding/bachelorette season?) and a natural tendency to want to visit others/be visited more, setting a social calendar will help to keep your spending in check. To live with purpose and intention, boundaries are important in all aspects of our lives and it's no different when it comes to your finances. Exercise your right to say NO to avoid unnecessary stress and drama!
Make spontaneity a part of your spending plan.
Considering we are more likely to engage in random activities during the summer months, we should make sure this is a part of our spending plan (I prefer this phrase over "budget" because anything too restrictive can often lead to failure like a fad diet because guess what? We are HUMAN!). Ditch the traditional rigid "budget" and include the inevitable. It's okay to plan for a splurge. Your future self and self-worth will thank you!
Be less social (media).
Sis, comparison is the thief of joy so be more intentional with the accounts you are following. Keep in mind that social media is only one side of a story and everyone who appears to be happy, rich, and joyful isn't always. Sometimes the images we are being fed are simply others managing their perceptions and "doin' it for the gram." It's no surprise that depression and anxiety rates are up and directly correlated. Don't let what others are doing deter you on YOUR journey. Remember this is just a season, and delayed gratification is worth it!
Be more nostalgic.
It's time to tap back in to your inner child. You know, the younger version of you, the little girl who was full of joy from the little things where cost and impressing others wasn't a factor? Do you remember catching/admiring fireflies, being on the porch with family and friends, or playing "punch bug"? What made your summertime self sing in your childhood days? Do more of that! Be intentional. Focus on being more present which costs nothing but simply putting your phone away.
By implementing these 7 summertime strategies and putting them to good use, you will find yourself increasing your holistic health and wealth. You are deserving and beyond worthy of this, Queen. Life is meant to be enjoyed and just in case you forgot, it's not a dress rehearsal. So whether you find yourself in sundresses, shorts, swimsuits, or even sweats this summer, continue to soak in the sun, create a summer to remember, and elevate your money mindset.
Are you down?
Featured image by Getty Images