With job cuts, bank closures and inflation, economic tensions remain high for many Americans heading into the summer. Autumn 2022 investigation A survey conducted by the Harris Poll of the American Psychological Association found that 83% of adults said inflation was the cause of their stress, and 56% said they didn’t have enough money and made different choices for themselves or their families last month. said he had to. .
Making tough money choices can be stressful, and sacrificing ‘want’ to cover ‘need’ can be disappointing. Whether you’re holding it or suddenly it’s out of your reach, there are still ways to enjoy it. save money Put yourself in a better place for next year.
shift to a positive mindset
In the face of canceled summer plans, Rob Bartman, a family budget expert and certified financial planner in Missouri, suggests shifting your mindset from disappointment to opportunity. Use this time to discuss financial decisions with your partner and children.
“I think it’s always good for kids to see their parents learning and trying to get better,” he says.
For children, Bartman says to avoid words like “can’t afford” and “too expensive.” Instead, he suggests reframing the hard choice as: benefit the family in the long run.
The key to this attitude shift is to keep track of your priorities. What you ultimately want is to create memories with your loved ones. Vacations seem ready for frame-worthy moments, but the most important things can happen in your own backyard.
Reduce activity costs
Summer is a great time for free events, but finding inexpensive events in your area can be a little tricky. Still, having fun on your calendar can be a huge emotional lift.
Memberships in zoos, parks, aquariums, or museums may reward you with many visits during the summer. It’s a great way to explore.
If your membership is too expensive, your wallet may have a workaround. For example, Bank of America credit cardholders are eligible for the Museums on Us program. The program provides free general admission to over 225 cultural centers nationwide on the first weekend of every month..
AAA members get discount tickets to concerts, movies, sporting events, and amusement parks. Don’t forget your local library. Some offer free “experience passes” to gardens, museums, zoos and parks.
Once you’ve chosen your activity, bring your own food to cut costs. Save money on last-minute drive-thru meals and overpriced snacks. When dining out, look for places that allow BYOB. Alcoholic beverages may double the bill.
If you still want to travel, consider places nearby or split the cost with family and friends. “The easiest way is to treat cities and towns like tourists,” Bartman says. Place a pin or draw a circle around town to find and explore driveable destinations, he suggests.
A $3,000 vacation rental can suddenly become affordable when you’re only paying $1,500. Grandparents may be happy to participate in creating family memories.
ready for next summer
Automate summer savings. If having a full summer schedule is non-negotiable, it may be time to prioritize this in your budget. another savings account Each paycheck helps build funds so you can set aside them by next summer. Months with fewer holidays and birthdays are also great for saving even more, Bartman says.
Flexible. Life is unpredictable. Avoid fees and bond losses and stay on track by booking hotels with free cancellation policies and refundable flights. Travel insurance is also an option for him. Some plans cover appointments and medical expenses.
Check your weekly spending. Bartman recommends conducting a five-minute spending review each week to see where your money is going. It will eventually become a habit, but put judgment and guilt aside. “Once families get into that rhythm, they find ways to really cut spending without sacrificing their lifestyle,” he says.
This article was written by NerdWallet and originally published by The Associated Press.