This article, entitled "Summer Livin': Easy But Not Always Cheap," comes from SavingsAngel.com.
Summer spending slides into a dangerous level all too easily. There are parties, get-togethers, vacations, family reunions… it’s like the holiday season, only sunnier – and longer. And all this fun and relaxation can be as expensive. We run to the store to grab this for grilling, we stop at the gas station for that on the way to the beach… Sloppy spending through the warm months ushers in a sharp bite of reality later.
I know summer is supposed to be relaxed, but step up! To remain focused throughout summer, diligence, and planning are required.
Do: Stay on top of bills, especially if you are going on vacation. Pay all your bills before you go or make a plan to take care of them while you’re gone.
Don’t: Let obligations pile up or get behind.
Do: Pre-plan and prepare for events by watching sales and get items ahead
Don’t: Wait until the last minute to buy picnic tableware or the necessary ingredients for that dish to pass.
Do: Regularly balance your accounts and check your budget.
Don’t: Just assume you’ll be okay or continually say ‘it’s only 3 bucks’ to every whim or ‘emergency’ get-together need.
Do: Think ahead to fall and winter. Watch for deals on more than just food. Think about clothing and even gifts you’ll need for the remainder of the year. Snagging great deals and putting them away saves hundreds later on.
Don’t: Buy only what you need for the immediate future.
Do: Set a realistic budget and pay cash for getaways.
Don’t: ‘Wing it’ or use the ‘I deserve it’ excuse to spend more than you can really afford.
My last, and probably best piece of advice…
Every time you go to spend, calculate how much it will cost you in work time. For example, something may be “only 3 bucks”, but you need to think about how much time it takes you to earn that amount. In summer, especially, working more hours isn’t something we want to do. We’d rather be outside. Rather be with friends and family. Rather be on vacation. So make sure that thing you want is worth the work time it takes to buy.
Bonus tip: Think this way often, and you’ll save a lot of whim-money. You’ll find yourself spending a lot less when you consider one meal out is costing you 2-3 hours (or more!) of work time. Might explain that ever-growing mystery of: where did all my money go??
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Josh Elledge is chief executive "Angel" of SavingsAngel.com, a website that teaches consumers how to save money through a free money savings video eCourse and podcast. SavingsAngel also provides hundreds of 50% off or better deals each week to members by matching local grocery and drug store sales with its free database of over 5,000 accessible coupons. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, in eight newspapers, and a number of radio stations across the country teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on SavingsAngel.com through the need to save his own family’s money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. SavingsAngel.com is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at SavingsAngel.com that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of SavingsAngel.com!