June is finally here and summer vacation has started! No more screaming kids or rowdy teens making your job even tougher than it already is. Well, remember, the financial decisions you make in June may determine whether or not you eat in August!
What a great time, to start thinking about your spending and setting some budget constraints, so you don't find yourself scraping together the last few nickels you have towards the end of summer.
A few quick tips on budgeting that have really helped me personally....
- I've found it very useful to create an Excel Spreadsheet and break down my recurring bills weekly. The first column is week 1, the second column week 2 and so on. Then, you'll see what bills are coming up and can record when you've paid them on time.
- Set up a side emergency fund. With a portion of that lump sum paycheck you get the last week of school, consider setting 10% aside in a separate account. I can't tell you enough how important it is to keep you savings separate from your normal checking account so you don't "feel" extra rich this month.
- It's all of those non-recurring expenses that you don't think about that get many people in trouble. Things like going out to dinner or buying more junk on Amazon or hitting up the ATM for cash and not remembering where you could have possibly spent it. Try using a separate credit card for those purchases to keep a close eye on spending. And, hopefully, you'll even get some cash back rewards. Just be sure to pay off the balance every month, so you're not paying exorbitant interest.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Summer and get to make some really great memories.