June 21st marks the first day of summer. It is a pleasurable season for most people. We slow down, enjoy the weather, spend more time with the kids and just give ourselves a reason to relax temporarily. This could be a costly experience or a cost saving experience depending on how you plan. Taking the family on lavish trips because time is available and all your friends are doing it, could prove to be a very costly experience. Exploring what your city has to offer and enjoying the solitude of your own backyard is a cost saving experience. Each scenario may or may not fit into you “budget “or time schedule. Both result in fabulous memories to cherish for a lifetime.
So how can you decide if indeed you can spend that money on that once in a lifetime vacation and not stress over the bills that accompany it later? What happens if you have it booked and are set to go within the next 2 months but you suddenly regret that it has a nonrefundable $1000 deposit? Then it is time to scrutinize your finances. And yes, summer allows you the time to relax and slow down and ………crunch numbers. It is an invaluable project. I know it’s hard to put money aside each month towards a vacation fund. This is something that requires delayed gratification which has become a lost art. Most people don’t think like that. They want. They do. They finance it. They stress and regret.
I challenge you in the last week of June to pull up your credit card statements and bank account statements for the last 3 months. Determine which expenses are fixed, meaning they are the same every month and do not change (car payment, mortgage). These should be automated. They should be set up to be taken out of your bank account every month on the date you choose (preferably before it’s considered late). Take away the thought process, time and burden. As the summer progresses, I will take you through some more tips on rediscovering your finances so that you can take those trips, stay within your means, pay it off before you travel and remain free of regret!
Enjoy your June!