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Preparing for summer expenses

The summer vacation has arrived, and with it the many expenses it involves. Are we prepared? Have we put enough money aside to cover costs of activities we have planned?

Here are a few things you can do to get through this expensive time of year at minimum cost.

Everything comes down to the planning. Make a plan that includes the activities you plan to undertake. Discuss with your spouse and kids, share ideas and incorporate theirs. A clear and detailed plan will help all family members decide what is in store and what they may have to drop if too costly.  Check prices, verify what is more or less pricy. It may be worthwhile opting for family season tickets or memberships to the pool, museum’s, national parks, or other venues you plan to spend a fair amount of time at, therefore ensuring the purchase is worthwhile.

So, to execute your plans, you’ll need to create and maintain a budget which you will have to update if sidetracked.

I strongly suggest parents give their kids a weekly or monthly summer allowance, enabling them to plan and budget for their own choice of activities. This is a great opportunity to discuss money, and a perfect chance to implement practices of financial independence. Let them make their own decisions on what and how they spend their money, whether they prefer to make individual purchases or spend on going out with friends.

The allowance should be realistic and in correlation to the age of the child. Mutually decide what the money should include and what not, how often they receive the allowance and how they can ideally save for more expensive stuff.

To avoid continuous demands in the likings off “buy me this” or “buy me that” I recommend you enforce this practice prior to leaving for family vacations.

Remember that during the summer utility bills still need to be paid, and with more people at home, bear in mind the likelihood of higher bills, not to mention a higher consumption of food. 

Check online for free activities or inexpensive places you can visit. There are plenty of free venues or those offering family rates. Use coupons or reduced tickets through credit card services, workplaces or elsewhere online.

Also, when planning the summer budget, remember to incorporate the forthcoming back to school expenses.

For further guidance and money management tools visit Paamonim’s website where if needed you may also apply for one-on one financial counselling.

About the Author
Sharon Levin has an M.A. in Public Policy and is a certified Group Facilitator. She has worked for Paamonim since 2009, lead roles include Regional Director responsible for Paamonim's volunteers who provide free one-on-one financial counseling. As Director of Group Activities, she headed the establishment of Paamonim College for Financial Education, offering courses, programs, and lectures teaching financial fundamentals to participants, all geared towards helping people acquire financial education for better living.

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