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If you live for those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, you may be in denial that this season of warmth and relaxation is rapidly coming to a close. The one thing you can’t afford to do, though, is burying your head along with your toes in that nice beach sand.
September will soon be calling, and with it, the rest of your responsibilities — your school-season schedule, the to-do list you’ve been avoiding, your finances. Don’t let life hit you like a freight train after Labor Day! Try these quick tips to get ahead before summer truly calls it quits.
Check-In With Your Budget
Did you forget to look at that spreadsheet all summer? You’re not alone, but that doesn’t mean you should keep gleefully ignoring your budget. Take some time before September to check in and see how your summer lifestyle has fared with your bank account.
Maybe it’ll be a pleasant surprise—but if you’re in for some rough weather ahead, it’s better to know sooner rather than later so you can buckle down and get a grip on the rest of your year.
Shop Smarter, not Harder
If you’re doubling down on saving money, fall is a great time to do so. Between the back-to-school tax-free weekend (if your state participates) and some pre-holiday-season blowout events, you’ll be able to stock up on all your essentials on lower prices than you’d find at other times during the year.
Online couponing can be a great way to save money without hardly trying. Don’t worry, modern couponing doesn’t involve spending hours at the kitchen table with newspapers and some tiny scissors. Like most things in life, savings have gone digital, and you can trust online experts to find the deals for you, fast.
Plan Your Large Purchases Now
Got some major Christmas purchases on your horizon? Maybe Black Friday is an annual holiday for you, or maybe you’ve just had your eye on that luxurious Kitchen-Aid mixer for a while and decided that this year is the year.
However you go about your big-ticket purchases, make sure that you always plan ahead when you’re going to make a sizable dent in your bank account. By keeping track of pre and post-holiday sales, you can make sure you snag the best price—and it may not be on one of the major shopping holidays like you thought.
Savor Your Weekends
Savor — but also schedule! Planning ahead can save you a lot of money when it comes to weekend outings. From discounted purchase-in-advance tickets to promotional weekends, a lot of local businesses will offer ways to save money if you put a little forethought into planning your visits.
With some simple advanced planning, you can still enjoy fun family explorations and seasonal activities, even if your budget is tight.
Invest in Your Family Time
You can hunt for coupons all you like, but no matter how cheaply you’re shopping, if you’re outspending your budget, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Remember that you put your budget in place for the health of your family, and don’t forget that some of the best memories are often made without spending a cent.