May 15, 2015
Spring is officially here and I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to the warm weather — not to mention the colorful maxi dresses, cute wedges and fashionable sunglasses! A girl has to stay cute, right?
In the past I’ve noticed that I tend to spend more money during the spring and summer months. So, I’ve decided to draw up a game plan to keep me on track to debt freedom. Overindulging in too many costly activities can definitely take a toll on one’s bank account.
Here’s what I do to stay frugal and fun during spring and summer:
Envelope Budgeting System: As you all know from my last post, I completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University last summer. I was taught to properly use the envelope system to successfully manage my budget each month. The key to the envelope system is to store cash in separate labeled envelopes that match each category of your budget.
For example, if your $500 budget includes food, gas, electric and clothing, you should have four envelopes labeled food, gas, electric and clothing. Divide the $500 however you see fit but do not go over the budget. Also, only spend money on what that envelope is assigned to so that means the food envelope can only be used for food. So, ladies, once the clothing envelope is empty, that’s it — you can’t dip into the gas envelope for that chic skirt. Tip: When the money runs out of each envelope, do not spend any more money until the new budget starts. Try out the envelope system and let us know how you like it.
Find The Cheap Fun: Free festivals, live concerts, museums and local park activities are generally great options for money saving fun. At the beginning of each month, I look for all of the activities that happen in my local area that are free or extremely cheap. Just a little research on Google goes a long way when it comes to finding free fun.
Travel Prep: Did someone say budget friendly road trip?! If I decide to travel during the spring or summer, I try to plan 6 – 8 weeks in advance. There are many sites out there that can help you do this.
Also, sometimes it’s best to travel with a group just to have the option to split costs. Fortunately, many hotels offer the best deals when traveling Sunday through Thursday. (Keep in mind Summer pricing normally begins during the first week of June.) Flight prices are cheaper on Tuesday and Wednesday, if booked in advance. Lastly, I ALWAYS utilize technology to shop for and compare the best deals available.
Couponing: Couponing is popular these days! I love to stock up on reasonably priced toiletries, cosmetics and groceries with coupon deals. I don’t buy the Sunday newspaper but I’m a sucker for great coupon websites like www.krazycouponlady.com and www.coupons.com. I’m not a couponing pro yet but you can start like I did with reward programs, clearance sections and buy-one-get-one-free deals. I’ve been couponing for about a year and I’ve realized that the world of couponing can be enjoyable, especially if you walk away with free merchandise. Just in case you haven’t gotten into couponing yet I think you should give it a shot. It’s cool and easy.
What do you do to stay within your budget during the warmer months?
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