There is much to enjoy about the summer months, but sometimes, it can feel like there’s too much to enjoy. If we’re not careful, we might find that the season costs us more than we expected — or would have liked — it to cost. While it might seem fine when you’re in the middle of the good times, the financial damage will carry you through to the fall and beyond. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. Below, we outline a few of the common ways that the warm summer months can have a negative impact on our finances.
A Cavalier Attitude
When you’re having fun, why would you want the good times to come to an end? You wouldn’t — you’d rather than things just kept on going. However, there’s an issue with this approach. It usually means that we end up spending much more money than we planned. You might have a set budget for the week, but then someone asks if you want to join for a fun adventure, and hey presto, you’ve made a deal with yourself (“I’ll just spend less next week”) that you know you’ll be unlikely to keep. Always be aware of those impulse decisions. They’ll bring a lot of fun in the short-term, but if you can just ride out that initial FOMO feeling, you’ll be glad of it when it comes to checking your bank balance.
There are few things better than setting forth on a few days of vacation with friends or our loved ones. But these can also be a money pit, if you’re not careful. It’s a similar issue that affects people during the rest of summer: they just get too excited, and can’t say no if the only obstacle is money-related. On the one hand, it’s understandable. If you’re visiting, say, New York for the first time, you’ll want to do as much as possible — and there will, for sure, be some things that you hadn’t budgeted for which crop up. It’s much better for your long-term financial health, however, if you think of your budget in advance of your vacation, and make sure you stick to it. With the information available online, it’s more than possible to get a reasonably good idea of how much you’ll need when you’re at a destination.
Alas, one of the biggest summer expenses has nothing to do with having fun — it’s more about staying sane, and not melting. In order to enjoy the summer to the max, you’ll be using your air conditioning system often. But as you’re probably aware, this can lead to higher than usual energy bills. There are things you can do to keep the costs to a minimum, however. For starters, you can limit the amount of heat in your home (cooking outdoors, blocking sunlight). You’ll also want to look at upgrading your windows so the cool air isn’t just escaping into the air, and installing a programmable unit — it’ll keep you in greater control of how much energy you’re using. The A/C unit doesn’t need to be whirring away all night, for example, just a portion of it.
We perspire more in the summer because it’s so hot. As such, we typically do more loads of laundry than is normal, and this can lead to a sharp increase in the cost of our energy bills. There are a few things you can do to keep these costs down, however. For starters, you can lower your standards somewhat. In the summer no-one else will expect your clothes to be forever sparkling clean. Second, take a look at the setting you’re using for your wash. There are economical settings that’ll limit the amount of energy used. Lastly, make sure you’re air-drying your clothes! There is zero point in using your dryer when you have a warm day outside. Plus, your clothes will have all-natural, summer breeze smell.
On the Roads
We will spend more time on the roads during the summer months. There are road trips, adventures, and simply more time spent out of the home when compared to the winter. This does come with its own dangers, however. It’s more likely that you’ll be involved in an incident on the roads during the summer, for various reasons — for example, sunlight in people’s eyes, increased traffic, and drink-driver incidents (which are particularly problematic). If you’re involved in an accident, make sure you’re not paying the costs that should be paid by someone else. Work with a law firm such as Hupy and Abraham, and fight for the compensation that is rightfully yours. If you don’t, you might find that the summer leaves you in much greater financial difficulty than you might have expected.
Hanging Out With Friends
We’re all a lot more social during the summer. And why not? The days are long, the sun is shining, who wants to be stuck inside their home? It’s a time to enjoy with friends and family. It’s important, however, that you don’t let your loved ones spend your money for you. While you’ll want to spend time together, you’ll enjoy it a whole lot less if you know that just by doing so, you’re putting yourself in financial difficulty. The best way to avoid this situation is to simply be up front and honest with your friends, and tell them that you don’t have unlimited amounts of cash to spend. You can also offer much more affordable (and just as fun) options, such as having an afternoon BBQ at your home.
Entertaining the Kids
If you have kids, then you’ll know just how expensive the summer months could be if you’re not careful. They need to be entertained, and if you don’t have a plan in place, then you’ll end up with a large credit bill by the time they’re heading back to school. Instead, look for free options — there’ll be events in your neighborhood, visits to the local state park, and simply lazy afternoons to enjoy.