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3 Budgeting Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer

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10 JANUARY 2019

3 Budgeting Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer is expensive, but the last thing on your mind during this season is budget advice. The weather is beautiful, the water is inviting, and all your friends want to hang out. Holidays, naturally, are expensive – particularly if you are after the deluxe bach experience or have a backseat full of children. We live in a pay-to-win world, where the best things cost a buck. But quickly, the costs can rack up, leaving us drowning in debt. Basic budgeting tips, which you so prudently followed through the year, may not be able to get you through – particularly if your summer is turning out more expensive than you thought.

There is an easier way. Today we’ll be exploring three crucial aspects of summer budget advice, that you can use to help make the most out of your summer.

1. Experiences can be free (or cheap)

We live in New Zealand – one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Our oceans, beaches, trails and campsites are world-class. Just ask the tourists who spend big to come here.

Thankfully, for your wallet, most of these experiences can be had cheaply. The beach charges nothing. And there are always a range of amazing hikes that are super accessible and, best of all, free. Campsites can be had cheaply through the Department of Conservation if you are looking for a getaway for the weekend.

The point is to re-think how we approach experiences. The world tells us we need to pay up big to have the experiences that we deserve – but we believe the opposite is actually true. Not only is it friendlier for your wallet to look to the beautiful surroundings for entertainment, it may better for our overall wellbeing too.

2. Say no to your friends

When our friends ask us to go out it can be a struggle to say no. Of course, we love seeing our friends – no one wants to dog the boys when they are calling. Hanging out is a chance to relax and unwind from our stressful weeks. Whether it's rounds at the pub or a night out on town, the cost can quickly add up (depending on how you have fun).

The result is a bank account that looks considerably lighter the next day – with the associated stress of stretching to make ends meet. Financial wellness this summer could begin with telling your friends that you won’t be able to join them at the pub. No matter how hard that may be to say, your budget and your future, stress-free self will thank you.

Plus, there’s plenty of ways to hang out and catch up over the summer without having to fork out the big bucks (see above). A beer at home is much cheaper than overpriced beer out in town.

3. Keep track of your spending

Keeping on top of our spending patterns is a crucial part of budget advice. The last thing you want is to open your credit card statement and see a bunch of stuff that you completely forgot about.

Often, the reason that summer becomes so expensive is because our costs blow out. Between beers and lunches with friends, frequent holidays, and big post-Christmas sales (admit it, you probably don’t have to have that new smartphone…) the costs of summer can spiral.

Budgeting advice begins with tracking your spend. Sorted.org recommend starting by carrying a notebook around, so you can write down where your money is actually going. After all, mindfulness about money begins with the knowledge of where your money goes. If you live squarely in the digital world, don’t worry - you could do this on your smartphone as well. There are several dedicated apps engineered to help you see your outgoings. The point is to keep a log, reflect on your spend, and make the appropriate changes. It can sound labour-intensive, but this is really the best way to keep on top of your spending habits and change them positively.

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