I don’t know about you, but there’s something about those long summer days that somehow make me completely and totally forget all about my budget.
I know I’m not supposed to say that. I know I’m supposed to say, “hey, sticking to a budget is super easy even while on vacation!”, but the truth is that it’s kinda hard to make it stick. I mean, kids are out of school and routines usually get shot to hell so everything kind of becomes “off” and then the more you try to relax the more you give yourself “permission” to ignore your budget so you can just “enjoy your free time”.
I get it because every summer, for at least one month we fail to stick to our budget. And heck, sometimes I even fail to make a budget all together. But last summer was different. I somehow managed to make sticking to our summer budget work. (And managed to make paying off our debt happen!)
Plan it Out
I think it was due to the fact that I prepared our budget for summer before summer happened. Basically, I wrote out in what months we had events, vacations, fees or registration dues in and planned our budget according.
This is what our calendar looks like so far this year: (P.S. “Chris” is my brother the Marine so when he’s in town with his wife and son we spend as much time with them as we can.)
May 27th-30th Memorial Day Weekend (Chris in town)
June 12th Family birthday
June 13th-17th VBS for Conner
July 4th Our annual July 4th party (include fireworks purchase) & Chris in town
July 22nd-23rd Vacation
1st Week of August Back to school (there hasn’t been an official start day announced yet)
August 23rd Collin’s 3rd birthday
It really is as simple as just writing it down or keeping it in a Google calendar, (we have a shared family calendar that we use for all the family events). This helps us to keep these things in our budget and even though I typically do this when I sit down to create our new budget for the month, looking over all of the summer months as once really helps to keep things in perspective for us.
We Avoid Debt
Since we don’t use credit cards, our vacations are all paid for in cash. We have a set line item in our budget for $50 a week to go into the vacation fund. This allows us to save money all year long in order to fund our vacations without having to reach for a credit card.
Routine, Routine, Routine
So between us planning out when our events and vacations are and then by saving all year long we’re able to avoid many budget pitfalls in the summertime but we sometimes still get lazy with our budget. And I think this is due to the lack of routine summer is known for, which don’t get me wrong, I love the lack of routine and the fun of just hoping in the truck and heading to the lake for no reason.
But, the lack of routine usually wreaks havoc on our budget in the summer time, because somehow I just get lazy and end up avoiding it all together. So, that’s why I believe it’s important to have a set day on the calendar where every week you go over your budget.
I know that doesn’t sound fun and seems like you’re destroying the “lazy days of summer” dream but last summer it helped to keep us in check more than ever before. It was easier to say no to special buys and invitations out when we knew we’d need XYZ by such and such date and we were only halfway there.
Hopefully we’ll be able to pull off another awesome summer this year and if you have any sticking-your-summer-budget tricks let me know! 🙂
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