Summer can take its toll on your wallet. Between the ever pressing need to take a vacation to simple expenses back home, the sunniest season can rack up a long list of expenses.
Are your finances prepared?
If you’re worried your budget will wilt under the heat, check out these tips below. They include simple ways you can reduce needless spending, so you have more money set aside for summer costs.
Change up your commute
You’ve got to get to work on time, but all there is ahead of you is a sea of red brake lights. Sound familiar?
Stop-and-go traffic is frustrating. It eats into your free time and takes a huge bite out of your expendable cash. Between tune-ups, gas, insurance, and parking, owning and maintaining a vehicle is expensive.
But it doesn’t have to be. You stand to save hundreds of dollars each month by getting rid of your car and relying on public transportation, biking, or walking to get to work.
Even if you can’t sell your vehicle, you still stand to gain savings by switching up your commute. Carpooling, taking the bus, or walking will cut down on the amount of gas you need, as well as reduce wear and tear your vehicle.
Check in with your credit score
It may not seem like it, but your credit score has a powerful impact on your budget. It affects your ability to get a loan in an emergency, as well as the rates you pay on any credit.
Each of the main credit agencies offer one free credit check, so it’s easy to see where your score lands.
Don’t panic if find out you don’t like what you see. You can turn around a low credit score if you’re willing to work hard and choose the right products.
While most mainstream banks will deny you credit that helps you build up your score, there are alternatives available online. You can find online lines of credit that work with subprime credit.
If you find an online line of credit from a lender like CreditFresh that reports to the major credit bureaus, it’s an opportunity to build your credit. If you have bad credit, see what CreditFresh can do for you and your score.
Setting a pattern of paying your line of credit on time may lead to improving your credit score — which could help you save on interest rates and other consequences of low credit.
Just remember, your credit score is a dynamic number that’s affected by a number of different factors. Paying off your line of credit on time won’t necessarily help your credit score if you’re defaulting on other loans. Be sure to make all your debt and bill payments in a timely manner.
Think twice about that vacation
Today’s culture of travel and influencer bloggers can convince you to take a vacation. And, more than that, a vacation that includes exotic locales, luxury accommodations and elaborate excursions.
Before you fly halfway across the world to recreate what you see on Instagram, ask yourself if you can afford it. If you have to rely on credit cards or lines of credit for everything from flights to hotels, then your little holiday in the sun isn’t worth it.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a relaxing or meaningful vacation. Short road trips to neighboring towns and states can be just as rewarding.
Even staycations can reveal a new side to your hometown if you’re willing to wear your tourist hat for the day. Or you can catch up on some much-needed R&R by staying at home.
Small Changes Can Help You Save More
The summer can surprise you with how expensive it is. And let’s not forget that back-to-school season and the winter holidays follow closely on its heels.
If you expect to last through the season and into the next with your cash intact, make subtle changes to your budget, like swapping out four wheels for two and working hard on your credit score. This can help you face things like a broken air conditioner or summertime illness with more confidence.