Winter officially ended several weeks ago, but it doesn’t quite feel like Spring yet — at least, not here in Chicago. But just because the weather hasn’t warmed up yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare your finances for the warmer weather.
Your expenses and financial goals may change as the weather changes. In the Spring and Summer months for instance, you will likely see a decrease in your heating bill. However, your electricity bill may increase as you cool your home. Will you have to budget more, less, or the same for utilities during the summer? If you’re not sure, review your bills from last Spring and Summer and see how much you spent on average each month.
Will you be driving more or less in the next few months? If you expect to be more social and active over the next few months, you may find yourself behind the wheel a lot more. On the other hand, with the nicer weather, you could walk and bike more often than drive. Additionally, Gas prices are usually higher during this time of the year. How will these things effect your driving and entertainment expenses?
If you are traveling this summer, hopefully you have saved enough money to cover all your travel and lodging expenses. If not, make a concentrated effort to save until you leave for your trip. If you can’t pay for the entire vacation in cash, you can at least lower the amount you put on your credit cards. Continue saving after you return from your trip and try to pay off your credit card balance before it accrues interest.
Lastly, do you pay tuition during the school year? If so, you should have a few tuition-free months coming up soon. Take advantage and use the extra money to increase your savings or pay down debt.
How do your expenses change during the Spring and Summer? Regardless of whether your expenses increase or decrease, remember to update your budget and plan for the warmer weather.