Summer is approaching and your friends are all talking about their beach rentals and fabulous vacations, and you are green with envy. Unfortunately, being envious is all you can do at the moment because your cash flow does not have room to include a long weekend of relaxing on the beach and sipping fruity little umbrella drinks. Of course, when you update your social media status this summer to say that you’re enjoying a cocktail by the water you will absolutely leave out the small details that your drink is a diet coke in a can and that the water is your backyard sprinkler, which is unsuccessfully trying to bring your dead grass back to life. Before you resign yourself to this kind of summer, try to implement one of these five smart summer money matters into your budget to make room for a fabulous trip somewhere where the grass really is greener.
Only Use Cash
Lay off the plastic for the next few months; even the debit card plastic. By using only cash to make your purchases, you will make smarter money decisions. You can’t see the money disappearing when you swipe your debit or credit cards, but watching your cash stash dwindle in your wallet will make you think twice about purchasing that awesome new hairdryer or that expensive latte. After a few days of watching your money disappear, you will be saving more than you ever have.
Open a New Account
Trying to save money in your primary checking account is bad idea. Once you see it sitting in there after all your other bills are paid you will be more tempted to splurge on a needless purchase. Instead, opening a separate account and stick as much as you possibly can in there each week; as that account grows, you will be inspired to save more because you love the feeling of watching it grow.
Make Better Changes
Are you paying for 1,500 minutes and unlimited text messaging each month, but really only use 500 minutes and send 400 texts? Downgrade your cell phone plan to accommodate your actual usage and stick your monthly savings into your savings account. The same goes for your television plan. Do you really need 500 channels? See if the smallest package includes all the channels you watch regularly, and if it does, switch. Save the savings.
Wait 24 Hours
When you want to make a purchase, promise yourself 24 hours to make it. If you are still 100 percent invested in making the purchase when you wake up the following morning, make it. Otherwise, don’t. Most people buy on impulse and end up regretting their decisions the following day. You can save a lot of money by waiting 24 hours.
Say No to Emotional Shopping
Shopping when you’ve had a bad day, are mad at a loved one or starving to death is a terrible idea. Impulsive, emotional purchases are unwise and needless. Your bank account will suffer and then you will be even more emotional than you were before you went shopping.