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5 hacks to get your summer budget on point

Justin Joffe and Brett Joffe
·Contributors
·4-min read
5 ways to get your summer finances in order. Source: Getty
5 ways to get your summer finances in order. Source: Getty

2020 has been an absolute mess…and that’s being kind. So there is no doubt, as summer rolls around and Covid-19 cases remain low (🙏), we’ll be ready to drop cash like it’s hot.

$20 espresso martini cocktails? Bargain. $250 picnic set and French cheese board? I’ll take three. An impromptu weekend at a hipster (aka overpriced) beach town? Just call us Moneybags.

In summer, we’re all keen to spend on anything - as long as it is warm, fun and COVIDsafe. But unfortunately, most of these activities come at a cost. No, not just the hangover and headspins, but also significant financial costs.

So if you also feel like your financial judgment decreases as the hours of sunlight increases, here are some quick money tips to help prepare for an unstoppable summer.

1. Check your (financial) pulse

Do a financial ‘pulse check’ monthly. Even if you don’t normally do this, it’s definitely worth taking stock of your financial life pre-1 December (ie. silly season’s official start date).

Check your credit score, update your budget, list out your debts, expenses and income in a way that makes sense to you (kudos to you if you’re an Excel Whiz – but even just putting down your big-ticket numbers in a notebook is a great start).

Organise your finances before the silly season. Source: GIFY
Organise your finances before the silly season. Source: GIFY

2. Do a Connor Mcgregor-knockout on your small debts

You want to start the silly season with a clean slate (as much as possible).

If you have smaller debts, like a few hundred dollars on your credit card or Afterpay account, try and pay it off now, so you aren’t carrying unnecessary debt with you through the summer.

It’ll wear you down like a fur coat on a hot Bondi evening.

Knock out your debts like Connor McGregor. Source: GIFY
Knock out your debts like Connor McGregor. Source: GIFY

3. Planning, planning, planning

Let’s face it, impromptu activities can be your budget’s worst enemy. Don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying, ‘don’t have any spontaneity in your life’, but things that aren’t planned tend to be the ones that make you go overboard.

Like the $200 credit card bill from your round of Jager Bombs... or shouting Maccas at the end of the night (again, kudos to you if you’re that guy/gal).

With that in mind, plan ahead for your nights out. That might mean taking out cash, and leaving your card behind so you don’t go outside of your budget.

4. Now go and find those budget-friendly activities

The good news is that there are heaps of ways to get out of the house this summer through free activities. Look up walking trails and parks that you haven’t visited (or those that you want to do again). Go for picnics in your local park. Try new activities like painting or learning an instrument.

The point is, if you have a list of budget-friendly options ready to go at all times, your summer budget is going to be so much easier to stick to.

5. Think about non-fun parts of summer too

Yes, we’d always prefer to focus on the sun, beaches and good times. But in summer, there are some unexpected expenses, like your air conditioning bill, wedding presents and even some birthday presents (no, we don’t want to be part of Jarrod’s birthday present – we’ve met him once!).

Over the next few weeks, see where you can mindfully cut back on spending and put little chunks of money into a fund specifically for your grrrrr” extras this summer. So when the time comes to actually pay these expenses you can go into your specific “grrrrr” fund to pay for them instead of your never-ending-fun-summer-fund.

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