How to Prepare Your Budget for Summer Upgrades
Eventually, spring’s rain clouds will part to reveal the hot summer sun. Before things start to sizzle, you need to make sure your home is ready for another season of record-breaking temperatures.
Preventative summer maintenance can be challenging if you’re on a budget, but don’t let your finances stop you from completing important seasonal chores. You can prepare for the rising temperatures without losing your cool by following these tips:
Draw up a Budget
It’s hard to figure out what is and what isn’t affordable if you don’t have a budget. This financial tool tells you exactly how much money you have left over after you pay for the essentials.
Accuracy is important when creating a budget. Although it’s easier to think in rounded numbers, you’ll want to be exact with the numbers you use — down to the cents.
Reduce Unnecessary Spending
A budget does more than show you how you’re spending money. It’s also a way to control what you spend on unnecessary things.
Once you have a list of your monthly expenses, you’ll be able to pinpoint purchases you didn’t need to make. Some things that fit the bill include:
- Concert tickets
- Clothes shopping
- In-game purchases
Although they may not cost a lot on their own, their combined effect can limit how much you have to spend on household chores.
For every one of these expenses you eliminate, you’ll be able to increase how much money you save.
Target Your Regular Bills, Too
Don’t worry if you already keep a tight budget. You can find extra savings in your utility bills.
Remember, you’re charged for how much you use your utilities. If you’re able to lower your consumption, you can keep those monthly bills low.
If you aren’t sure how to do that, try:
- Taking shorter showers
- Raising your air conditioner to 78 degrees
- Lowering your hot water heater to 120 degrees
- Turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth
Prioritize Your Chore List
Once you limit spending and boost your savings, you’ll figure out how much you have to spend on summertime maintenance. The number you end up with may cover everything from essential chores to fun landscaping.
You won’t know until you:
- List your chores
- Estimate how much they’ll cost you
- Compare their cost to your budget
It’s okay if you can’t tick off everything on your list. Rank your chores according to necessity. Use your cash on tasks that improve the safety and comfort of your home first before taking on cosmetic changes.
Search for Alternatives to Costly Repairs
Attempting to make major repairs you aren’t trained to do can end up costing you more. You might unknowingly cause a bigger issue by taking a DIY approach.
Some jobs are better left to the professionals but calling a professional can be costly.
Let’s say your air conditioner needs major repairs, you may be able to offset the cost by:
- Financing the repairs: Some sympathetic repair companies offer financing plans. If this is available, you’ll be able to pay off the repair over several small payments.
- Using an installment loan: If you’re low on funds, installment payday loans can bridge the gap. These payday installment loans are ideal for non-recurring emergencies, like a costly repair you can’t live without. Like other financing options, they let you pay off your loan over several smaller payments.
Most people love the summer. But it can be hard to appreciate the season if your bank account is chronically low.
You can face seasonal expenses with greater confidence when you prepare in advance. Draw a budget and prepare your plan of attack. These tips will help you focus on the good things about the season and not the costs!