Saving Money

Saving Money: Summer Checkup

If this year has been going as fast for you as it has me, then you’re amazed that it is now mid-July. I look back at how six months have passed us by and how half of the year is remaining. Whether or not you believe in, or have New Year’s Resolutions, I still believe having some sort of goals – especially in terms of saving money is important. I find that it helps my family live a more disciplined life financially, but it helps me get in a mindset of looking for ways to save money throughout the year. With that in mind, there’s no better time than now to look at how you’ve fared at saving money this year and what changes, if any, are needed to finish strong.

Don’t Take a Vacation from Your Saving

I’ve written before about always looking for summer vacation ideas as I love being able to take some sort of family vacation near the end of the summer or early fall. This is generally because we’ve been busy working hard and some sort of summer vacation helps us recharge for the rest of the year and take a break while we’re at it. Don’t allow this mentality creep into your desire to be saving money though. Life, especially if you have kids or have other responsibilities can easily pass you by in the summer as things get put on hold. By noticing that and avoiding the summer malaise you can set yourself up to reach your money saving goals for the year.

Saving Money is a Year-Round Activity

My wife grew up attending a year round school. As a child she hated boarding the school bus when friends of hers were off to summer camp or going to the beach. I can understand that as having fun with friends is always preferable to school when you’re a kid. What she sees now though is that helped her develop a mentality to work on things throughout the entire year without taking breaks. This is the attitude we should take when we’re looking to be saving money within our budget and on everyday bills. By setting up bills on automatic payments and automating retirement contributions we help establish a longer term view of our finances. It also helps us look for ways we can save on common expenses by either cutting them altogether or looking for cheaper alternatives so we can maximize how much money we’re saving.

You Still Have Time to Save Money

If you’re looking back at the previous six months and recognizing that you have not been doing so well in regards to saving money, you still have time. The key, though, is to take action and look for ways you can save money now. Take a look at things like your car insurance, gym memberships, subscriptions and cell phone plans to see if there is any fat you can trim off those expenses. Often times those are some of the easiest ways you can start saving money without really feeling any difference. If you’ve not been saving for retirement actively thus far, you still have time to come up with a solid contribution to your retirement plans. Like saving money on bills, it requires action and a willingness to commit to it. It is true that half of the year is gone, but by focusing on what you can do now, you can still make decent headway the rest of the year.

How have you been doing at saving money and streamlining expenses this year? Are there any changes you need to make for the remainder of the year?

Image by 401(k)2013 / Flickr

Comments

  1. says

    I find that summer is the perfect time to review everything. Not only is the year half-way through, but things seem to slow down (at least for me) during the summer so I have the time to review everything to make sure I am still on track and where I need to pick it up.

    • says

      I completely agree Jon. To me, it’s the natural time to sit back and look at how things are going as it still gives you half the year to get some solid progress accomplished.

  2. says

    All year school, how does that work, do they get longer breaks for Easter and Christmas or just a lighter load during the week? That must have been tough seeing the other kids get two months off.

    • says

      They would get three month long breaks – one in the summer, Christmas time & in the spring. I think it’s actually a decent idea as the agrarian calendar the current US system is based off of is so outdated for us.

  3. says

    You are right saving money is a year round activity that should have not have any breaks. I have made great strides this year by getting rid of all my debt and building an emergency fund. Now since I have extra cash coming in I will start investing and making money work for me.

    • says

      That’s awesome Kevin! I agree that it’s a year round activity and should be treated as such. Great work on getting your debt knocked out!

  4. says

    I agree you shouldn’t take vacation from your savings. People save it only to spend it on leisure/pleasure vs what it is there for. This summer we have made a lot of changes with a new mortgage, newborn and another teenager we had to figure some things out this summer especially groceries. Summers usually dont’ change much for the wifey and I though as we try to look at the budget every month. Its good though with the summertime because you are half way through the year and can look back to see what you have done and would change going forward.

    • says

      You and your family have certainly had your fair share of changes this year – though good changes! :) We look at our finances monthly as well, so there is usually not much in terms of change from month to month.

  5. says

    People should create separate savings for vocation as well. We have a saving for retirement, emergency fund, house down payment and vocation. Not much, but they do add up nicely in time. Personal finance is all about creating these little habits.

    • says

      We’re much the same way Peter. We put money away for vacation each month, as well as other things. Great point on the little habits, they all help!

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