Summer is the season of endless possibility, and I don’t know about you but the older I get, the more I realize summer can quickly become the season of endless spending. When the days are empty there can be a temptation to fill them with new things, and more food and before you know it, you’re in a spending frenzy with no end in sight. O and I sat down to plan a summer spending strategy last week and here’s what we came up with.1.No more than two grocery store trips a week. This one is pretty brutal, to be honest, but when O presented the idea I completely understood where he was coming from. As many of you know, grocery store trips (Target included) are like an escape for moms with littles. It’s a predictable, reliable chunk of the day where they’re entertained and excited and content. I’ve gotten in a pretty bad habit of only meal planning a couple days of the week so I was always “needing” to run to the store. If I ran in for vegetable broth and tortillas, I’d come out with 10 other things I had no intention of buying. This also resulted in lots of food waste- there was just no way to consume the amount of produce I was impulsively buying. The idea is to start rigid to get back in the framework of responsible spending when it comes to groceries and work from there.
2. Spending schedule. Another area that sneaks up quickly is Amazon. Oh how I love Amazon. I think we all feel that same “Christmas morning” feeling when our little brown boxes arrive at the door step. There is NOTHING better than hearing someone recommend a book, a pair of kids shoes and a face wash and being able to buy them all right then and there from the same place. It’s magic! But it also creates an unsustainable stream of constant buying and also feels irresponsible at some point. It’s tempting to take away any need whatsoever for patience in our lives but this switch is one I’m actually excited about. We’ll have two purchasing days-one at the start of the month and one mid month-and everything else will have to wait. In our meetings we sit down and evaluate what we actually need so we can bounce the idea off of each other. This month is was an electric drill, attachments for the air pump (hi, inflatable pool), long sleeves for Keogena and so.many.clothes for our ever-growing Oshiolema who had suddenly grown out of everything. As far as clothing and personal purchases go, he and I went on a bit of a spending freeze until the end of summer.
3. Decide on the large expenses at the start of summer. We lay out our trips, adventures and fun excursions with the kids in May. Things definitely creep up (we’re currently contemplating a trip to Tennessee to visit my grandparents) but there aren’t many surprises this way. Our large expenses this summer are transitioning Keogena’s room to a big girl room and since we’ll be spending a large amount of time at the lake house in Windsor, we’ll be updating a couple things there as well. There have been two potential trips proposed but aside from that, we already know where large chunks of the budget will be allocated.
I’ll report back at the end of the summer with an update on how this plan worked! I tend to overspend just because I’m naturally a celebrator and a creative. I have tons of ideas and those ideas tend to add up. I’m looking forward to being a better steward of our finances and I never regret a spending freeze. Happy Summer Saving!