I know what you’re thinking – summer seems way too far away to be worrying about what lies ahead. However, that is exactly why you need to start planning and prepping for any upcoming expenses for your summer vacation.
Not unlike Christmastime, summer travel and events can end up being just as costly. Wedding season rolls around, camping trips are hard to pass up, and warmer weather makes us want to do more, period. Canadians love their summertime, and that is the first sign that we should take budgeting for this time of year a little bit more seriously.
How exactly can you prepare for these costs?
Step 1 – Sit down and plan
Although the budgeting aspect seems intimidating, the opposite of that is the actual brainstorming and planning of all of the fun events you want to partake in. Do some research, check your calendar, and set up a timeline that includes dates and costs associated with each possible expense.
Step 2 – Total the costs
The next thing you can check off your list is totalling up the costs for each planned event, and then taking time to map them out on a calendar. Example:
|June 24th||Cousin Becky’s Wedding||$500|
|July 22nd||Camping trip in Ontario||$1300|
|August 4th||Soccer tournament in Kamloops||$480|
Step 3 – Budget accordingly
Now that you are aware of your total costs, set a timeline leading up to that event. For instance, if you have a wedding on June 24th, you have around 10 weeks to save that $500. How much can you put away each week to reach that goal? Example:
|Date||Event||Cost||Weeks Left||Weekly Savings|
|June 24th||Cousin Becky’s Wedding||$500||10||$50|
|July 22nd||Camping trip in Ontario||$1300||14||$93|
|August 4th||Soccer tournament in Kamloops||$480||16||$30|
Step 4 – Choose your increments and automate your savings
For some people, putting away over $100 each week is not an option or is outside of their budget. Try to save in smaller increments more frequently, or choose to do monthly transfers instead. Setting up automatic transfers can allow you to better organize your current budget, and also ensure you don’t forget to set aside some money for your savings goals. By saving further in advance, you are likely to have a better handle on your financial situation by the time summer comes to an end.
Step 5 – Be realistic
After reviewing your budget and setting financial goals you may find yourself overwhelmed. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you can afford to take trips, or go on weekend getaways that will force you to live outside of your means. If a summer vacation isn’t in the cards, opt for a staycation and check out some local destinations that will be less expensive, but just as fun.
Now that you know what you need to do to start planning for the upcoming summer months, what are you waiting for? Warm weather doesn’t wait for anyone, regardless of their finances.
Image Credit: Nina Uhlíková