This post is in partnership with Lexington Law, thank you for supporting brands who support TCM. As always, all thoughts, opinions, experience, and advice is my own.
LBH, financial freedom comes from the small, everyday moments. Not just your big purchases like your house or car. And while financial responsibility doesn't always sound like making the most fun choices, it doesn't have to be a death sentence to your summer fun. Today, I'm breaking down 13 ways you can celebrate summer without breaking the bank and also giving you some tips for splurging a little! Because at the end of the day, it's always better to plan for some indulgences than binge later. Your bank account will thank you, I promise!
13 Ways To Celebrate Summer Without Breaking The Bank
– Expand your palette. Try cooking up some new recipes or learning to cook in different preferences (summer vegan recipes anyone?!). It's a great way to boost confidence, overall health and happiness, and protect your bank account.
– DIY that IG worthy patio area you've been dying for. Instead of going out and dropping a G on a luxurious daybed, get crafty and build it! This can be a great way to flex your sewing hands and building skills!
– Go camping and/or watch the stars. Personally, I'm not into sleeping on the ground with bugs, but I'm all for watching the stars! So do whichever you prefer to have your own magical evening!
– Check deal sites. These usually have tons of great things that are pretty affordable. I'm talking half off massages or foot rubs! Or you can let your inner child out and do some fun things like laser tag (there's usually at least one arcade always running a deal!).
– Plan a staycation. Obvi one of my favorite things to do. Check out all my tips for it here.
– Take a road trip to the nearest city for a scavenger hunt. PRO TIP: Make sure to check out this article from Lexington Law on credit cards that can help you save on your summer road trip!
– Get outside. There's a lot to be said about simply getting outside and having some fun. Whether you can hit the beach easily, or maybe go old school and turn on the sprinkles and have a good ol' fashion slip and slide.
– Have a dance party. Because you can never go wrong with this one.
– Play games. Whether it's an old card game you used to love or a full on board game night with friends, cut loose.
– Make your own ice cream. I know, I know, summer screamssss for ice creammmm! But what's a better way to get into the summer spirit than making your own? Go old school with a few coffee tins and roll away (seriously, just google it, I made it in middle school it's fun and easy!).
– Clean up! Whether it's a neighborhood clean up, closet clean out, or a beach clean up, it can feel great to give back to your community and help our planet.
– Rearrange your house! The change of seasons always calls for some fresh energy and what better way to breathe new vibes into your old space than to feng shui it all? There's tons of information on google, but here's a PRO TIP to get you started: make sure you head points west when you sleep! Especially if you find you have insomnia or nightmares, make this switch ASAP!
– B.Y.O.E. BBQ. Nothing screams summer like bbq's and fireworks, amiright? While these can be SO much fun, they can also be a burden on the host or planners. Take the pressure off yourself (and your bank account) by asking everyone to bring their own everything OR throw in money for anything you need to pick up. PRO TIP: Preserve your festive decor. TRUTH: my husband may consider me a bit of a pack rat; but I consider myself financially savvy. You see, there was a time in my life, I was always making crafts, hosting parties, and decorating anything I could get my hands on. Which, if I'm honest, was expensive. I got really good at carefully folding all my decor items back up and preserving them in resealable baggie and boxes to ensure that I can reuse them all next year.
Want more ideas for your summer bucket list that won't ruin your credit? Check out this list from Lexington Law.
Tips To Celebrate Summer By Splurging *Smartly*
While the above list will certainly keep your bank account and budget happy, I want to make sure YOUR happy too! All of those things are super fun (trust me, I've done them all!); but LBH, a beach clean up while your friends are diving off their over water bungalows in the Maldives on Instagram can leave something to be desired. So I want to talk about being *smart* when it comes to your summer splurges!
Tip 1: Consider what your ultimate goals are
Before you splurge, I always recommend really thinking about what your ultimate goals are. Sure, you could probably max out a bunch of credit cards and hop on a flight to the Maldives too – but is that really going to help you in the long run? Probably not. Instead of doing what everyone else is doing (booking trips, and traveling) maybe your summer splurge is on something a little more long lasting, like a car (did you know summer is a great time to get a car?).
Be honest with yourself about where you're at in life and what you really want; then proceed through the next steps.
Oh, and if getting a car is really what you want, check out this helpful article from my friends at Lexington Law on how to approach financing a car this summer!
Tip 2: Budget
If you know exactly what you want to do:
You can determine what it is you want to do, and when you want to do it. Then figure out how much it'll cost, and divide that number by the number of months until you have to pay for it. So for example, say you want to go to a theme park, a ticket may cost $100, gas may cost $50, a hotel for a night $150, and let's budget $100 for miscellaneous spending like food and souvenirs. So you'll need $400 to go to a theme park, and you want to go in August, so that gives you two months. Meaning you'll want to put away $200 a month to reach your goal.
If you're not sure what you want to do:
If you caught this post last month on how to *actually* budget using the 50/20/30 rule, this is going to be a piece of cake for you! Just look at your “goal” number in your budget and see what goal can take a backseat – or you can look at your lifestyle number and see if you want to get conservative with it to reallocate some funds to your goals number. This way you have an idea of what you can spend on some summer fun, and then just keep your eyes and ears open for the right opportunity in that range!
Tip 3: Protect Yourself!
One of the best ways to celebrate summer without breaking the bank is being PROACTIVE about your finances. Because LBH, nothing would be worse than to plan your splurge trip, then have your identity lifted the first day you're there and you have to spend the entire trip in your hotel room arguing with credit card companies and the like. Not only is it a headache, you're now missing out on the fun you just splurged on!
The Lex OnTrack Identity Theft Protection Tool by Lexington Law is a great way to stay ahead! It's a monthly subscription service that combines Lexington Law's credit repair services with identity theft. It allows you to track your FICO® Score, has dedicated US-based customer support, and tons of other tools to help you manage your finances!
In the LexOnTrack platform, you'll be able to see all of your transactions from all your linked financial institutions which makes it easy to track your financial goals and monthly cash flow. Meaning if you are planning some summer travel or splurges, like we've been talking about, it's a fantastic resource to see the big picture.
Plusss it monitors your identity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will alert you of any suspicious activity. This is CLUTCH when your enjoying you summer travel! Because again, no one wants to spend a trip sitting on hold in their hotel room trying to get their credit cards to work! *No thank you!* To make it even better, they provide $1 million in identity theft insurances which includes any stolen funds and cash reimbursement.
Finally, if you are a victim of identity theft, Lex OnTrack will aim to prevent it, but also helps remove any questionable negative items from your credit report.
Remember to have fun and do your best
Life is short, so make smart choices but don't deprive yourself. If summer debt did creep up on you, know you aren't alone. That's why my friends at Lexington Law are here to help you rebuild your credit!