While we’ve all spent the better part of the spring quarantining at home, you might be tempted to go out and spend more money now that the warm weather has arrived. Not only is this dangerous for your health and the health of those around you, but extensive spending over a short period of time can have detrimental impacts on your finances. With the economy continuing to fall and the pandemic far from stable, it is important to continue to practice physical distancing and save money wherever you can. Here are 4 essential budgeting tips to have a safe and budget-conscious summer!
TIP #1) AVOID EATING OUT ALL THE TIME
While it’s great to support local restaurants, constantly buying take-out can take a huge hit to your budget. A lack of meal prepping encourages the urge to eat out or to make last-minute food purchases to whip up a quick meal. So try planning your meals ahead of time and shop for necessities. Make multiples of your dishes, this way you can freeze your preparations to avoid wasting any food. This tactic will keep you from spending money and make the most of your income.
TIP #2) SAY NO TO NEW SUMMER OUTFITS
Impulsive shopping is a typical summer attitude. With malls and large stores remaining closed to promote physical distancing, you might be tempted to update your whole wardrobe online since it’s so easy and convenient. But before racking up a huge shopping bill, why not try some closet shopping? Be creative and think about different ways you can put together a different outfit—with the same clothes.
Let’s suppose that you absolutely need a new summer attire, check out these tips:
- Try budgeting yourself for each item.
- Make a list and check the average prices for each item.
- Settle for cheaper clothes versus brand names, since they will cost you double the price.
TIP #3) CUT DOWN ON MONTHLY EXPENSES
While the pandemic may have put a stop to all our summer travel plans, your monthly expenses can still add up and it’s best to cut costs wherever you can. Try these tips to cut down on your monthly bills:
- Cut down on your air conditioning. Temperature control in your home can represent almost half of your energy consumption.
- Use more natural light. With longer days and more sunshine in the summer, you don’t need to have all the lights on in every room.
- Save on your internet bill. Identify your internet usage and adapt your plan based on what you’re actually using. Shop around to see which providers have the best plan for you.
TIP #4) HOLD VIRTUAL GATHERINGS
Finally, the cheapest and most fun tip of all: stay virtually connected to your friends using video conferencing apps like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime! These softwares are all free and with a glass of wine or beer you can turn a regular video call into a fun little weekend celebration (minus the expensive bar tab). With public gatherings and festivals still not an option, weekly virtual gatherings like this can not only help ease stress and reduce loneliness but make these uncertain times feel a little more like summer!
While summer 2020 may not go the way anyone had planned, there are still many things you can do to reduce your expenses and stay safe. As always, check out our blog for expert advice on budgeting and financing. Contact us today for a quick and easy installment loan with a same-day deposit!