Successful summer budgeting
The grind of midterms and assignments is almost done, exams are on the horizon, and summer looks so close. It is easy to get lost in all the possibilities that can come with it. Temptations of activities like music festivals, road trips, or even just relaxing and enjoying time off the regular school year are easy to day-dream about as work piles up.
It is easy to forget about the limitations. How much time will it take to do or travel to each activity? Could I be using it more effectively? What does my budget look like? Will I be able to do everything I want to do? What can I do if something else comes up? Summer is over before you know it and real life begins again; it should be spent as worry-free as possible. Even if you are graduating, getting a summer job, or are attending summer school, it is important to make the most out of what free time you get while the weather is shining bright.
Time management is the easiest first step. When are you busy? When are you free? What big events might you want to attend? While the later months may be difficult to do in terms of certain planned activities, you should still have a good idea of any persisting obligations and a good sense of the first few months. See what you want to do as a baseline, use the empty days to potentially plan other events, and notice how clear and concise your summer becomes with just a touch of planning.
Budget management is a little more difficult. As exciting the weather is, it will not mean much if your day-to-day expenses or less frequent purchases like clothes do not allow you to capitalize on the season. Those with jobs in other months or other financial considerations should at least have a rough idea about their spending habits. Knowing specifically what you spend on things in addition to planning what you will spend during summer will still be a great help. This also allows you to explore alternatives if you find you will not have enough to splurge on certain events. A priority list in advance is much better than being forced into one when you find out you spent too much.
Of course, budgeting your summer is a constant feedback loop that requires constant readjustments. A friend invites you up to their cottage for next weekend, events get cancelled, the boss calls you in for overtime, and the countless number of other examples that will have an effect on your planning. Having a contingency plan to adjust is important. Empty days to reschedule prior commitments, extra money in your budget that you can skim off savings to account for unexpected cases, or simply saying no to certain events are a few examples of what you can strategize and budget for.
While this is basic advice, it is still important to try and apply. Simply planning your life for the summer season will allow you to make the most of it, and maybe the good habits of budgeting and organizing will persist for the rest of the year too.