Nothing can convince you to spend $12 on a cold margarita quite like a 98-degree day in Colorado—and we’re probably not the first to tell you that the warmer months can wreak havoc when it comes to your budgeting goals. Whether it’s back-to-school prep, quality outdoor-patio-slash-rooftop-deck time, or an expensive vaca, summer can be a bit of a bummer for your budget. But hey, you’re not alone!
According to a study by the British Retail Consortium, weather is the single biggest influencer on consumer spending habits after the economy’s health (yikes). While there are obvious reasons for an increase in spending this time of year (like the fact that summer months get more people outside), there are also lesser known ways the heat impacts one’s spending habits. In fact, the study found that something as simple as an increase in exposure to sunlight heightens our willingness to spend more—and spend more often.
Now that you have a valid excuse for that 4th of July spending splurge (thanks a lot, sunshine), it’s a good time to start thinking about how to tackle your finances the rest of the season. In honor of our self-proclaimed #freedom month, we’ve got a few simple tips on how to free yourself from excessive spending this summer.
Have you ever gone to swipe your card with no idea how much money you actually have in your account? Yeah, us too. Even though plastic is the convenient way to go when it comes to payment options, using cash can help you keep an eye on your spending trends. We suggest leaving the card at home, setting a budget before you go out, and then pulling the cash out of your account in advance. It may take an extra trip to the ATM, but it’ll help you say bye-bye to spending binges. Plus, having cash means you can make it rain—and who doesn’t love that?
When it’s too hot to go outside and the A/C beckons, it’s easy to get lost in the abyss of the Internet and all of its tantalizing opportunities to spend. Online shopping is an inevitable nemesis to your budgeting goals, but rather than trying to stop spending altogether, instead look into ways to shop smarter. A new app called Honey downloads a special toolbar into your web browser (don’t worry, it’s safe), which then automatically locates all relevant coupons for you to try upon checkout. Spend less while getting more? Cha-ching!
We know this is a post about not spending money, but treating yourself once in a while is actually a pretty important part of achieving your larger budgeting goals. So, plan something nice for yourself in advance, and give yourself the #freedom to spend a little extra on it. This planned reward incentivizes you to keep your money in your wallet, and prevents you from feeling deprived (and thus susceptible to buying allthethings). Our suggestions include a fancy massage, a weekend trip, or a ticket to one of Colorado’s best music festivals—but it can also be something as simple as really, really good tacos.