I love summer, like so much, and this one has been no exception. It feels like every weekend has been jam-packed with activities. Edmonton isn’t called ‘Festival City’ for nothing! It’s one of the things I really love about the city. There are constantly events happening, and I have a hard time saying no to fun in the sun.
Here are a few highlights from our summer, thus far:
- The Tragically Hip concert…such a great show and so many feelings.
- All the festivals…Street Performers, K-Days, Taste of Edmonton are always favourites.
- Football and baseball games…there’s not much better than drinking beer, watching sports, and sitting in the sunshine.
- Good eats…we made it out to Corso 32 for the first time, discovered Elm Cafe and had too many food truck dinners.
All of that sounds amazing, right? Sure does, but there’s one little problem…it all costs money! Every year I get to this point of summer and find myself going over my allotted spending money month after month. In the winter it is so much easier to stick to a budget because I basically go into hibernation mode from November to March. I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I need to build myself a summer slush fund when my budget isn’t as strained (those hibernation months). Having multiple savings accounts is nothing new for me as I like to keep each account earmarked for a specific goal, whether that is my emergency fund, vacation fund, home renovation fund, etc. Knowing exactly what each dollar is being saved for makes it harder for me to justify spending the money on something else. Adding a new account to cover those added summertime expenses means I’ll be able to do the things I want but without going over budget…win-win.
Spending money isn’t consistent and almost everyone will have varied expenses throughout the year. Being aware of when your heaviest spending happens gives you time to prepare and create a budget that is flexible and accommodating. Changes my budget to increase spending in lower spending months (winter) means I will still have the cash flow available in my higher spending months (summer). Your schedule might look entirely different from mine…maybe you love to ski, so trips to the mountains increase your winter budget but you are willing to make sacrifices in the non-snowy months to fund those excursions. Don’t feel like saving money always has to be for a long-term goal, like retirement, or a specific purchase. Savings accounts can be as flexible as you need them to be, and using them to balance your budget over the year makes perfect sense.
My summer slush fund is a pretty solid plan for next year, but I also need to play catch-up on my excessive spending this summer. How am I going to do that? Well, let me share 🙂
1. Shopping is off-limits
I’ve been a little too spendy this summer on things I don’t really need, especially shoes which aren’t usually my weakness. This stops now though! I’m cutting myself off from buying anything that’s not a necessity until we head off to Barcelona in November. That scares me a little, but it’s now written down so no take-backs. I’m not actually a huge fan of spending-bans (I preach balance), but sometimes you just need to go cold turkey to get yourself back on track.
2. Sell some crap
This has actually been on my summer to-do list, but I’ve been so busy spending all my money that I haven’t taken any time to earn some back. I promise it’s not actually crap, just things we aren’t using anymore that deserve a new home. Kijiji is my go-to for selling, and I’ve had good luck with it in the past. You do have to put up with some bartering and no-shows, but it is simple to post items and has a big base of buyers.
3. Eat at home
This isn’t going to be a be-all-end-all ban like with shopping, but I’m setting an eating out limit of twice a week for the remainder of summer and then once a week starting in October. I know there’s still a few festivals and events we want to make it out to this month and so I’m being reasonable. There won’t be any grabbing of take-out though unless we’re eating out for an event, then dinner will be had at home.
4. Save for next summer
I actually really like the idea of a summer slush fund, so I’m going to do it. This likely won’t happen until we’re back from our trip but even an extra $50 per paycheque (I get paid twice a month) from December to June will give us $700 to spend next year. That sounds like quite a bit of money, but looking at how much we’ve spent so far this summer it’s in the right ballpark.
How is everyone else doing with keeping their budget in line this summer? Do you also need to hit the refresh button and get back on track?
This post was proofread by Grammarly.