How to save during Summer

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With inflation on the rise, local financial professional Barry Bigelow from Great Waters Financial has some tips for Minnesotans to keep our summer spending in check.

There are a couple of reasons people overspend in the summer. We live in the North and spend all winter cooped up in our homes while it’s cold. When things start to get warm, we want to experience everything summer has to offer and meet with people again. This summer especially, over half of Americans reported they plan to “treat themselves” as Covid-19 restrictions continue to lift. Fairs, festivals, and community events come out in full force in the summer months, along with more restaurant meals and happy hours on outdoor patios. Summer vacations are a popular tradition for many families, and this year travelers are expected to spend nearly 30% more compared to 2019. For parents, summer means club sports and summer camps, which can cost an average of $600 per child.

Inflation and interest rates affect summer spending in a few ways. Inflation directly relates to your purchase power; as the cost of goods and services increases our dollars don’t go as far as they used to. March brought record high inflation, with the consumer price index reaching 8.5%. With inflation and interest rates continuing to climb, many people will likely be adjusting their summer plans. With gas prices near $4.00 per gallon, summer road trips and boating excursions cost more. Dining out and grilling in the backyard are popular summer pastimes, but food prices have increased 8.8% over the last year.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the experiences summer has to offer without spending a ton of money. Find free opportunities. Keep your eye out for local community events like concerts, street fairs, or outdoor movies. Zoos, local parks and libraries are great places to take kids for some free adventure. Instead of paying for a concert ticket, enjoy free live music at a patio or restaurant to make the most of your dining experience. As the old saying goes, the best things in life are free.

Rent Instead of Buy. Summer is a popular time for ATVs, jet skies, and boats. Even though it may sound fun to own a boat, the maintenance and insurance can cost up to $5,000 per year, so consider the benefits of renting this summer instead.

Utilize One-Time Costs. Look for one-time costs that can save you money in the long run. For example, buying a summer pass to one swimming pool will be more cost-effective than visiting multiple pools throughout the summer. If you know you’ll want to visit a few state parks, buy a year-round pass once for $35 instead of purchasing a pass each time you park.

Northlanders can create better saving habits for summers to come by utilizing a few tips. Remember to save throughout the year will help you prepare for more expensive months like summer. It doesn’t have to be much: just $40 a week will save you $2,000 after a year! Summer is also the midpoint of the year–a great time to reflect back on how you’ve budgeted so far and find the areas you need to improve on going forward. Reevaluating your spending is important to make sure you’re on track to accomplish your long term financial goals.

If you want to learn more budgeting strategies, follow Great Waters Financial on Facebook and LinkedIn.