3 steps to avoid summer money stress.
Wimbledon has started, there are strawberries and Love Island’s on the TV.
Summer is here!
It’s time for holidays, summer clothes, days at the beach, outdoor cinemas, rooftop bars and dining outside. There’s so much to do and more importantly so many ways to spend money.
Here’s our three step guide to having a wonderful summer without giving yourself a stressful money hangover.
Step one: What does summer mean to you?
Before you get caught up with everything big businesses and large marketing budgets would like you to think summer means, just take a moment to think about the summer memories you would actually like to create.
Looking back, what moments do you treasure from summers past?
What do you remember from your childhood?
When my kids were little I loved being able to let them play in the garden until it was dark, free from the constraints of school. I still love sitting outside as night finally descends, with a glass of wine, candles burning and wrapped in blankets if necessary, watching the stars come out.
One of my happiest moments as a child was sitting on a sea wall with my Dad watching moonlight dance on the sea.
Make a list of four things you would like to so this summer.
Something you’ve done before
Something new to try
Something you’ve always wanted to do
Something you used to do as a kid.
Step two: Set up summer “money dates”
If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know that one of the money management activities we are passionate about is the weekly money date.
A money date means that each week you sit down with your money. You track the money you’ve spent, pay your bills, chase people for money and look at the expenses coming up.
It’s a great way to stay connected to your money and build a better relationship with it.
Believe it or not, a weekly money date can also really help you make the most of summer.
I don’t know about you, but I can find all the summer scheduling really overwhelming. I remember one summer looking at the family calendar on the wall and thinking this is crazy. Every day was filled with activities, days out, summer classes or friends coming for tea. It was worse than a school week.
I decided to see what would happen if we didn’t book everything up in advance. If we just decided each week what we felt like doing. Yes, that might mean some activities would be fully booked or that we would miss certain friends because they were away on holiday but I decided it would be worth a try.
It worked and I can’t remember one disappointment.
So use your money date to create your summer. Once a week when you track your money from the previous week, take a moment to remember the wonderful summer moments from that week. Then as you look at the week that’s coming, find a time to slot in something from your list.
In the words of Marie Forleo, “If it's not scheduled, it's not real.”
Step three: Cash is king
The best way to stop spending getting out of control is to use cash. If you are going out for an evening just take the cash you can afford to spend. When that’s gone, it’s home time.
It might sound boring (especially for all you Romantics, Celebrities and Connectors) but look at it this way, only spending what you can afford means you can relax and enjoy the evening, guilt free!
As Holly says, a hangover is bad enough without a financial one to go with it.
Using cash also limits the likelihood of impulse buys. Those items which at the time you feel you just can’t live without but which devastate your budget afterwards.
Remember, there are a lot of people being paid a lot of money to make you feel like you’re missing out because that’s the feeling that makes you buy more. It’s very unlikely that one of your summer memories will be the disappointment of not having bought whatever it was you thought you needed in that moment.