Spending wisely this summer
One of the highlights for summer is, no doubt, one we can all agree on: vacation! Whether you’re a beach lover, more of a lake house person or like to spend your summers checking out big cities or quaint towns, vacation is a perfect opportunity to relax and recharge. Unfortunately, far too often, vacation can also be a major drain on your wallet!
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected—and that extends to finances. Even if you’ve been tending to your savings account, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for surprise costs, and that means cutting corners when you can, especially on something like a vacation, which can have plenty of runaway costs. From high-ticket hotel fees to food and drinks to transportation, trips can leave us with plenty of memories, but lots of financial regrets! Here are a few ways to save some dough while still having fun on your vacation this summer:
- Know your costs ahead of time: If you’re heading out on the road, look up how much tolls will be, estimate gas costs and consider how much you’ll need to spend on dining out while driving. Being prepared ahead of time can help you save for those expenses and also find the best deals.
- Allow yourself to indulge—but not overindulge: Like with a diet, completely restricting ourselves from spending can be frustrating and may cause us to go too far in the opposite direction! So, allow yourself to spend smartly. Don’t completely eliminate nightlife from your budget, for instance, but instead of shooting for the most high-end locales, settle from somewhere more mid-range—where you can still treat yourself but do so without breaking the bank.
- Put saving at the forefront: When we’re on vacation, we’re often enticed to keep spending—on excursions, food, events and more. Let spending take a backseat to saving in your mind. Instead of investing tons of energy into planning extravagant meals, for example, research where local supermarkets are if you’re in another location and strategize what you can bring with you to the beach, lake or wherever the summer takes you!
- Rethink what ‘vacation’ itself means: The word vacation may suggest far-flung adventures and exotic, tropical spots, but in essence it all boils down to just having some time away from your normal routine to rest, relax and maybe do some exploring. There’s no reason that has to be done halfway around the world! Pick a spot that’s within a day’s drive (think about those gas prices!) or even stick around your own town for a staycation—where you can enjoy some time off work just chilling out in a local park, checking out museums or even taking a mid-day snooze under the sun.
Summer is definitely a time for excitement—but exciting doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive! By being a little proactive and a lot creative, you can rethink how you spend your vacations so that saving is front and center without losing out on any of the fun.