Summer used to consist of much simpler (read: cheaper) times. Now, it seems like you can't even think about going out somewhere without money being withdrawn from your account; it's like it cost you to even imagine having fun nowadays.
Summer is filled with vacations, graduation celebrations (those are mostly late-Spring, but it's close enough to summer to justify adding it in this post), weddings, and the inevitable "What you got up for today?" messages from your homies that will undoubtedly lead to money being spent. That's just how the game goes.
Here are 4 straightforward ways you can keep your summer spending in check (or at least make the most of it):
1) Use the Cash-Only Budgeting Method
The cash-only budgeting method is a method where you...well...only use cash. Who would've ever guessed? It's one thing to swipe a piece of plastic and go on about your day without noticing the damage. It's a whole 'nother ballgame to use cash and witness the money disappear right before your eyes like spinach in a pot.
Here are the steps to beginning your cash-only budget:
Write down your monthly income.
Subtract your needs and savings from #1.
Take the remaining amount out in cash.
Create subcategories for the cash.
Divide the cash between the subcategories. The easiest way to do this is to get an envelope for each subcategory and put the cash in there.
Only spend what’s in the envelope. That is the whole point, ya know?
This budgeting method is guaranteed to make you tighten up.
2) Get a Cash Back Credit Card
Cash back credit cards are cards that focus on...well...providing cash back when you use them (I bet you didn't see that one coming). If you're going to spend money — and chances are that you will — you might as well get money back for doing it.
There are hundreds of credit cards that offer cash back, so lucky for you, Finessin' Finances has compiled a list of some of our favorite cards for you to check out.
3) Plan to be Spontaneous
Let's keep it real: planning your social life out in the summer is like putting on that Queen Helene cocoa butter lotion and expecting not to be ashy 3 minutes later. It may sound kinda backwards, but planning to be spontaneous is very effective when it comes to controlling your spending in the grand scheme. A strict or overly-by-the-book budget may feel like an everyday chore and can cause you to just say to hell with budgeting all together (it happens every day, B).
Do yourself a favor and make a "F**k it" fund. You'll thank yourself later.
4) Stay Yo Ass Home
When in doubt, make sure you don't go out. Don't want to spend money? Stay yo ass home and find other [hopefully] productive things to do with your time. Even if it's not productive, just make sure it's free. FOMO is the quickest way to go broke.
Stay home in the place you've already paid rent for, utilize that wifi you've already paid for, eat those groceries that you already paid for, and watch how much your bank account will thank you.