Now that it is already March, the winter is ending and the warmer spring months are finally coming in and that just means that we are that much closer to summer. While summer is fun, that also means that fun unfortunately does usually mean extra spending money so it is better to prepare for the extra expenses now to be able to save up a bit.
Shore Up Your Emergency Fund
If something happens between now and summer, it would be nice to have a little bit of a cushion in case you have to shell out some unexpected extra cash. Anything can happen with a volatile economy, so an unfortunate job loss could really set you back, but more likely, an appliance that goes on the fritz or your aging car that needs a sudden of repair, it would be nice not to put on a credit card and worry about paying off later.
Pay Off Debt
It should go without saying that any debt you are carrying should be paid off before and extra spending occurs, especially non-essential expenses such as a summer vacation, so you should make sure starting now that debt is paid off, or have a short-term payoff plan so that you will be free and clear by the summer months. With the patio eating and drinking, baseball games, and concerts, the summer can bring plenty of extra expenses that you need to free up money for.
Reduce Unnecessary Expenses
The next step to free up extra money to have by summer would be to continue to reduce any expenses that are truly not necessary. If you take your credit card statement from last month and actually go line by line, picking apart between what needed for say an electric bill, or a $100 bar tab, that probably could have been avoided. Not saying you have to give up going out to eat or the bar, but even if you go out one night less a week or few times a month, think about how much extra that would leave you.
Save, Save, Save!
Now that you have all this extra cash what should you spend it on? Well for now, nothing. Put it in the bank, put it under your mattress, whatever, as long as you do not spend it for the next few months and then you can have a field day. In addition to the savings from unnecessary charges, try take out a little from the ATM each paycheck and put towards the summer fund.
Enjoy Without the Worries of Spending
After all, life should be about the experiences, so there is no point in saving your whole life if you do not get to enjoy it and are missing out on what is fun while you are young. If you have taking the responsible approach for budgeting for fun, then there is no reason you should not be able to reward yourself, so that you can at least see there was a point to the frugality.