money management

How to Save Money During the Summer

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Summer is here! The endless parties, nights, vacations, festivals, food and drinks are always fun to partake in - but they all take a toll on your finances as well. Here are our top five tips to save some money this summer and still be able to have some fun! 

  1. Embrace the beautiful weather!
    Now that we're going to have consistently warm and sunny weather, it's time to use that to our advantage! Instead of driving, consider walking or biking to work, and you'll save on gas money and parking. 
    Exercising outside will also help with any monthly gym fees you may have but never use. Jogging, hiking, or yoga are all great outdoor activities!

  2. Timing is everything!
    Seeing a movie? Go during a matinee! Getting dinner or drinks? Take advantage of the longer days and go outside of the dinner rush. Always be aware of local deals happening during off-times during the summer when you'll perhaps have a little more free time. 

  3. Picnics over patios!
    Summer and Patio Season are interchangeable. While it's fun to meet friends for outdoor drinking once in a while, change it up and plan a potluck-styled picnic instead. Everyone gets to share their best recipes, you'll be outside where it's likely to be less crowded, and you'll be saving money! 

  4. Don't forget about local deals!
    A lot of places offer a discount for people who live in Milwaukee or the surrounding area. The museum and the zoo are two notable examples, and both are great for summertime visits. When out and about, make sure to bring your ID with you, and you may be treated to a discount or special you never even knew existed!

  5. Street festivals, anyone?
    One staple of Milwaukee is what seems to be its endless supply of street festivals during the summer. When I lived in Bay View, I was lucky enough to be able to walk to the end of my own street to partake in one every year! Bars and local businesses love making these events happen to celebrate their city and thank their community, so head to these for inexpensive fun! 

No Spend March

By Amy Lancaster

By Amy Lancaster

So, this post is a little different from the rest.

As someone who is newer to the personal finance world, and – as someone who likes a challenge – I’ve decided to embark on different monthly challenges to help me improve my finances.

Looking back at my budget last month, I was floored by how terrible of a job I did. I tried to limit myself to $25/week in eating out, and $50/week in shopping (clothing, makeup, fun materialistic items, you know – things I don’t really need), and I absolutely failed. Granted, I had to do some extra spending for upcoming photoshoots as well as indulge in one of my nerdier interests via a local convention – but those acts alone made my budget completely crash and burn for the rest of the month.

Therefore, this month, I am forcing myself to do a spending freeze. Here are my personal rules:

  1. Only spend money on absolute necessities. This includes bills, groceries, transportation, and prior commitments (I have a hair appointment this month, but I feel it’s a bit of a win in terms of saving money because I have been able to work out a deal with my hairstylist to make it less expensive).

  2. Allot for one cheat day. This month, I’m going to Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo on March 23rd – this will be the one day that I will allow myself to spend money on whatever I want (within reason, of course).

  3. Figure out ways to save more money. There are a few things I could most likely do without that I am paying for every month. This month, I will go through any recurring expenses and see where I can cut some corners.

  4. Share weekly updates. I’ll be posting weekly updates via this blog to share my experience, what went well, and what I can improve on for next week.

  5. Encourage others to join. This is where you come in! Because I have the discipline of my cat the moment a treat enters her field of vision, I will be creating a Facebook group for this that anyone can join! I’ll also be promoting the hashtag #milborntosave on our social media – so, if you want to share anything pertaining to this, make sure to use the hashtag!

Your rules don’t have to be exact to my own – everyone’s circumstances are different, and people have situations where they have to spend money on things besides the necessities. Just make sure to tailor your rules to your situation in the best way that will make sure you come out ahead by the end of the month!

Ready to join the challenge? Join the group and comment below if you’re #milborntosave!