Sense & Centsibility Blog

How to Make Your Summer More Affordable

Even though while I'm writing this we're supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow in Duluth, summer really is right around the corner. If you haven't already gotten a wedding invitation in the mail, those, along with other invitations to events, will be sent out to family and friends soon. Instead of having to scramble at the last minute, start planning your spending now for minimal impact on your bottom line.

  1. Start by making a list of the potential festivities. Think baby showers, bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, weddings, and grad parties.
  2. Then estimate potential costs of each event, including travel costs.
  3. If you're hosting any of them, start planning and then make your supply list so you can start chipping away at your list. Check online for shopping options, too. For example, I use Amazon Prime and last year got free shipping for relatively cheap bridal shower party favors (as I was the maid of honor in my sister's wedding).
  4. Next, start shopping or be creative and make the gifts. There are a lot of fun ideas on Pinterest if you have an account...and if you don't, just use plain, old Google where the possibilities are endless. If you're not feeling crafty and it's for a wedding or new baby, check with the couple or future mother/father on where they're registered if they haven't sent that info out yet.

If you don't feel like starting shopping now, you're in luck. There is an alternative that will still help make summer more affordable. Once you figure out how much you'll likely need to spend, start saving money from each paycheck. For example, if you determine you'll need $150 by June, that would be setting aside $75 in April and $75 in May. So just figure out how much that would be each paycheck - depending on your pay frequency.

Even though this plan seems easy, you may still find yourself stopping on the way to a wedding and throwing cash in a card. But if you have set aside that money ahead of time, you won't have to charge anything or worry about how you're going to make it until next payday.

If you carry a balance and are making payments on credit cards each month, LSS can create a plan with you to pay off your debts faster and with less interest. Call us at 888.577.2227 for your free and confidential financial counseling session. Or, get started with your online session right now.

Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.