I don’t know about you but it gets really dang hot where I live in the summer. Triple digits most days from July through the end of September. There’s something about the heat that makes me want to either be lazy and stay inside all day, or be on a beach with a drink in my hand. No part of me wants to be in super productive mode.
Why is that?
-If you have kids that are normally in school now they’re home all day and you’re out of your normal routine. You may feel the need to spend more time entertaining them and providing a memorable summer instead of working towards your financial goals. Not to mention lack of childcare makes it more challenging to work and make more money!
-Maybe you’ve been working hard towards those money goals all year and when the summer comes you just want to take a break from responsibilities.
-Or how about all the extra spending that can occur in the summer? Vacations, summer camps, and more meals out can certainly derail your progress and perhaps make you consider pressing pause on your money goals.
So what can you do?
You don’t have to put your progress on hold every time you pack away your coats and dust off your favorite bikini. Here are a few things you can do:
1. Accept that you may have to alter your routine
I get it. I live for my routine. But when my kids are home for the summer I have to be flexible. Maybe you’re used to working your side hustle during the day and you count on that money to help you achieve your goal of paying off debt. You may now have to shift that time to nights after they’re in bed. Even the most Pinterest-worthy summer schedule needs some wiggle room for flexibility to be realistic. Do the best you can and release the outcome.
2. Decide on a “mini goal” for the summer
If you’re going into the summer with a long term goal for your money in mind it may be tempting to let yourself off the hook because it feels so far away. Instead, think of a short term “mini goal” that you can focus on during the summer months that allows you to still enjoy your summer without pumping the breaks on your goals. Some examples of a mini goal might be:
- Save enough cash to pay for a family weekend getaway during the summer
- Pay off a smaller debt like a credit card with a lower balance, a medical bill or a loan with a smaller balance.
- Put $100 EXTRA per month towards your long term investments.
- Start a sinking fund with the goal to save enough by the end of the summer to pay cash for Christmas.
3. Drop the idea that having a great summer = overspending
When my kids were really small we were in a really tight spot with money and I was dreading summer because I thought we’d have to stay home and they’d be missing out on a memorable summer because we couldn’t afford to go anywhere. We’re blessed to live in the beautiful state of California and one day I had the idea to go to a beach with the kids. It was within driving distance so we didn’t have to pay for much other than the gas to get there. My kids had so much fun and my daughter asked “is this our new tradition to visit a new beach each year?”
A new tradition was born that day and each year since then we’ve gone on this beach trip that was born out of a time when we had no money to do anything else.
You may not have beaches near you but what about exploring the towns near you? Parks? Hikes? Lakes? Or what about creating fun at home? Backyard camp outs, making s’mores, and water balloon fights are just a few budget friendly things you can do at home.
Don’t overextend yourself this summer and loose sight of your goals thinking it has to cost a lot to enjoy yourself.
So while others may be choosing to fall into the summer slump trap, you won’t let that be your story, will you? You now know that you can have a super fun summer and stay on track with your goals. It’s not “or” it’s “and.”
Cheers to a great summer!