Dealing with some budgeting issues? You’re not alone — there’s something about the warmer months that put us all in ‘treat yourself’ mode. But before you think that a summer vacay is off the table, take the following steps to reset your spending this season. It will make a bigger difference than you think!
1. Use only cash for one week (or where you tend to overspend)
It can be easy to view credit cards as a source of free money. When your credit cards are tied to apps/services like Uber and Apple Pay, it can be even easier to lose track of just how much you’re spending. Remedy this by carrying cash only for a week or only paying cash in areas where you tend to overspend. Cash is a great reminder that money is a limited resource. And, because you can’t buy more than you brought to pay, it will keep those impulses in check.
2. Add more outdoor activities to your weekend rotation
If your weekend plans usually involve brunch, drinks with friends, and other money-spending activities, good news: you can still do all of those things and be more budget-conscious about it. Instead of meeting at a restaurant, try and incorporate more outside time. This can be in your backyard, at the park, you name it. Have everyone bring a different dish or snack and enjoy some time out in the sunshine!
3. Balance your budget twice as much as you normally do
If you only balance your budget once a month or week, it’s time to double up! Paying extra close attention to your budget will stop you from making unnecessary purchases. If budgeting isn’t really your thing, we understand — there are plenty of budgeting apps out there that can get you started.
4. Revisit your subscriptions
Let’s be real — are you *really* using all of those subscriptions? Take a moment to access your viewing habits and adjust accordingly. Even if you’re just pausing your subscriptions for a couple of months, you’d be surprised how much it adds up. Chat with your friends about their subscriptions, too — there may be a way that you can all coordinate watch parties instead.
5. Have a “no spend” day each week
Try and plan one day each week where you don’t use cash or credit cards on discretionary purchases. This is a great way to reset your spending because you’ll become more conscious of how you’re spending your money. It also helps break that consumer mindset of always having to spend each day. If you’d like to take it a step further, chat with your friends and/or significant other about being each others’ accountability partners, or see how long each of you can go without spending!
6. Follow the “one in, one out” rule
We get it — we love to shop, too. But as you’re adding fun new pieces to your seasonal wardrobe, get into the habit of saying goodbye to a piece that you don’t reach for as often. Getting into this habit may stall that impulsive purchase. You may consider downloading a selling app like Poshmark or Depop and adding some less-reached-for pieces to your profile.
Another great way to curb your spending? Cooking healthier dishes at home! Check out our favorite low-calorie meals at the moment.
Allison Wheeler is a writer, Bruce Springsteen enthusiast, and sixth-generation Texan living in Denton, Texas.