Getting a frugal start on summer

By Kristin Wong

Published: Wednesday, June 11 2014 9:35 a.m. MDT

  • I’m on the lookout for gifts. By preparing my gift-giving now, I’ll have time to look out for deals and discounts. This doesn’t mean I’m actively shopping, but if I come across a great deal on something I know my mom wants, I’ll probably buy it for her. Of course, this could backfire if she buys it herself before Christmas, so I have to be careful.

  • Maybe you think this one is silly because you’re great at not overspending. Good for you. I’m weak. For me, it’s way too easy to give in to the temptation of last-minute, overpriced gifts. I’d rather eliminate the temptation to overspend altogether by preparing early.

    Saving for next year’s vacation

    As I mentioned, we went a little travel crazy last year. It was great. But this year, we have to cut back on the spending mostly because I want to be able to afford a great trip in 2015. So 2014 is dedicated to saving and staying home. We did plan a small trip to Houston-New Orleans to watch my brother graduate and relax a little, but that’s about it.

    I get the travel itch quite a bit, and in the summer, it’s even more tempting to want to scratch that itch. So it’s hard not to want to say, “Screw our finances, let’s go to New York City!” A couple of things will inspire me to save better this summer:

    • Planning for next year: Planning our next destination and researching it will motivate me to make it happen by saving.
    • Remembering previous trips: We took so many photos of our travels last year, and we haven’t even really looked at them. It’ll be nice to go through these images and remember how lucky we were to be able to see those parts of the world. Gratitude can be a great motivator.

    Overall, I know this is a spoiled problem to have — being challenged to save up for a vacation. But when I was paying off my debt, similar strategies actually helped. I stayed focused by 1) thinking about and planning for my awesome, debt-free future; and 2) remembering all of the things that make me grateful, despite my debt.

    Anyway, I’m excited about summer, but I still need to make a conscious effort to stay steady and frugal.

    What are your spending and saving plans for the summer?

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