Money-smart Summer: 7 Expert Budgeting Moves for SUNNY Days


According to a recent poll conducted by GOBankingRates, 58% of Americans intend to stick to a budget this summer to save money. With children out of school and parents seeking things to do, this is the time of year when spending tends to surge. While inflation rates remain tenacious, Americans are still looking for ways to enjoy their summer vacations without breaking the budget.

How do you make a summer budget that you will stick to? Here is what the experts had to say.

Consider How Your Spending Will Change

Before you start working on a summer budget, keep in mind that your spending will fluctuate as your activities rise and your family begins to arrange activities to fill your free time.

“When creating a summertime budget, consider your typical spending changes from the rest of the year,” said Eric Rosenberg, finance expert and founder of Freelancer Dashboard. “For example, if you take a family vacation every summer, you’ll want to include the extra costs in your spending plan.”

Accounting for those spending increases ahead of time will help you avoid the temptation of last-minute expenses that aren’t in your budget, making you more likely to stick to the ones you did include.

Get Your Finances Organized

“With so many things out of your control in today’s economic climate, how you save and spend money is something you can control with the right tools, but the first step is to get organized,” said Courtney Mitchell, head of consumer deposit and payment products at TD Bank.

One of the most effective methods to begin organizing your finances is to review your spending from last summer.

“Reviewing last year’s spending for summer months can help you gauge if you’re on track to spend more or less than other times of the year,” Rosenberg stated. “If you’re not already using one, a budgeting app can help you understand where your money goes throughout the year.”

Create Realistic Goals

“Before you put pen to paper and write out a budget plan for yourself or your family, it’s important to set realistic goals on what you wish to achieve with your budget,” Mitchell stated.

It’s tempting to agree to every plan—until you realize how much everything will cost. You’re unlikely to be able to achieve everything, so figure out what you can afford and base your plans around that.

According to Mitchell, “The specificity of a budget is ultimately up to the individual family, but it boils down to the fact that fixed expenses are easier to control, variable expenses are less so and can often throw a wrench in budget planning.”

Increase Summer Savings

“To jumpstart summer savings, consider using your tax refunds or end-of-year bonuses as the base for a savings fund,” Mitchell advised.

If you intend to spend a busy summer with your family, you should start saving now if you haven’t already. The more you can save ahead of time, the fewer opportunities you’ll pass up.

Plan Your Activities

If you plan your trips ahead of time, you won’t have to scurry for accommodations at the last minute and end up paying more.

How Can You Save Money Here? Aside From Travel and Accommodation:

  • Keep track of the number of events you’ve committed to attending to avoid overbooking yourself.
  • Write down how many gifts you intend to buy for summer holidays and festivities, as it is easy to get carried away.
  • Mitchell gave other suggestions on how to save money by preparing your events in advance: “Breaking down your total budget by the events you plan on attending will help you avoid last-minute purchases, which are usually more expensive and do not give you as much time to search for deals.”

Take into Account Hidden Costs

Hidden costs will most certainly appear over the summer months that you may have overlooked, especially if you had a peaceful winter and spring with few extracurricular activities. Some of these include:

Transportation to Events

  • Food when visiting amusement parks.
  • Time off from work.

Allow for these unanticipated expenses in your budget to avoid going into debt.

Search for Ways to Save Money

You’ll want to find methods to save money on summer plans by using some frugality strategies that can go a long way.

“One of the most overlooked ways to save money on your budget—especially in the summer—is to contact your electric/utility company,” said Eric J. Nisall, accountant and creator of Understand Finances. “Many of them have special programs that give you discounts or statement credits throughout the year for cycling off major appliances during peak hours or using certain appliances at certain times for reduced rates.”

You can be more budget-conscious throughout the summer by restricting your expenditure on utilities and other expenses.

According to Mitchell, “When planning your route for a summer trip, research if your current cards offer rewards or cash back around expenses associated with summer travel, like gas.”

Every little bit counts as you try to stretch your money over the summer months.

According to Mitchell, “Shop smart and use coupons and cash-back apps whenever possible, and consider buying gifts in bulk if you will be attending similar events for holidays like the Fourth of July.”


In conclusion, as summer approaches, many Americans are planning to keep to a budget to control spending. Planning and monitoring spending habits might help families prevent summer overspending. Organise finances, set realistic goals, and start a summer savings fund early, say experts. Preparing for last-minute expenses and accounting for hidden charges will help avoid them. Saving money by using energy company programs or credit card rewards can also stretch budgets. These tips might help families have a fun, affordable summer.

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