Retail Rehab: How to Recover From Too Much Summer Spending

Income and Investments retailrehab

I hope this summer has been a blast for you and your family. Perhaps you’ve gone on a long (and much deserved) vacation or you’ve been taking long weekends and been hitting the beach.

Some of you though may have noticed that as your fun increased so did your spending.

If you went all out this summer, there’s still plenty you can do to get back on track with your money.

Fall Back Into Savings

One of the first things you’ll probably want to do is get back into the habit of saving. In a few months, you may be needed to travel to see family and friends, so building up your accounts will keep you out of debt later. Now the hard part – actually curbing your spending.

Good news, this isn’t the hard part; in fact it can be a breeze to handle if you have the right tools. Want an easy way to dial back your spending? Use a free service like Mint and have it do the heavy lifting.

We’ve used Mint to help us when we were trimming our budget for eating out as we were saving for our baby fund.

You start by adding your bank account and Mint pulls the data out so you can get an overview or look at it by transaction.  Once you’ve got that set-up, you simply log-in and create a budget for what you want to spend and things you want to keep tabs on.

If you tend to spend $300 buying clothes for you and the family, you can tell Mint that your goal for the next few months is to only spend $100. You can then have Mint notify you by email or text whenever you get close to your spending limit.

Every week, you’ll also get an email with your progress, so it’s a really easy way to stay on top of your money without stressing over every penny. 

Make Your Transfers

Let’s be honest, if you really want to grow your stash, keeping that money saved in checking is not your best way to go.

Keep it easy and earn some interest by setting up an automatic transfer into a high interest savings account.

Some of the best rates are online since they don’t have as much overhead as some of the brick and mortar banks.

However, it never hurts to check around to see if a local bank or credit union has a competitive rate.

Just make sure that the money is still accessible when you need it, so you may want to skip out on those certificate of deposits (CDs).

Plan Your Trips Now

If you want to visit family, now is the time to start tracking the best deals and rates on travel. The longer you wait, the more likely you will be stuck with a big bill.

Use sites like FareCompare to make sure you’re getting a great rate.

Once you book your flight, you may be able to get a rebate from your airlines by using Yapta to track your flight’s prices in case they drop.

Check with your airlines to see what their policies are.

Thoughts on Savings

I hope these tips get you back on track with your budget. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments!

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