Five Financial Pitfalls To Avoid During The Summer

June 17, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I develop some lazy habits during the summer. Maybe it’s because I live in Florida, and the brutal heat and humidity can make anyone feel lazy and lethargic. The only remedy to the heat in Florida is a nice pool or the beach but even the Atlantic Ocean warms up bath water temperature in the middle of the summer.

Not only do I feel lazy, but I tend to act lazy with my money. I think less about my financial goals, I spend money at places that I normally wouldn’t spend it, and I get a little less stringent with my budget. Here are five financial pitfalls to avoid during the lazy days of summer.

Eating Out Instead of Cooking

I find that we eat out more during the summer, because we like sitting outside at a table on a warm summer night. Also, we are usually traveling around more during the summer whether it’s a weekend getaway or a wedding to attend. The remedy to this is using the barbeque at home or cooking your food and eating it on your patio or backyard. You’ll get the feeling of eating out, and you can enjoy those warm summer nights.

Not Planning Ahead for Fall & Winter

It’s so easy to live in the summer moments of traveling and having fun at the beach. Then all of a sudden, it’s September or October and you haven’t started saving for holiday gifts and parties. Don’t stress out about the fall and winter, but make sure you put a savings plan in place to stash away money every month for the expensive fall and winter months.

Slacking at Work & Your Career

The summer months in many industries are slower than usual, because many customers are on vacation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a break from work. Many companies hire during the summer, because they have more time to train new employees, and you don’t want that new employee showing you up. Use the summer months to further your career by taking a pre-certification course or continuing education class. Go the extra mile, because your boss or clients will notice it more during the less busy days of summer.

Ignoring Summer Deals

Because the summer is a slow time for retailers, you can often find great deals on electronics, home goods, and clothing that retailers are trying to dump before the fall line comes in. The end of July and first week of August is a great time to shop, because the back-to-school sales are usually pretty good. Many states in the past have waived sales tax on many items during the back-to-school rush, but with the current economic situation, it would be surprising if a state gave up tax revenue at this point.

Failure to Network

You’ll be out doing a lot of different activities during the summer, and you’ll be traveling to places that you normally wouldn’t travel. Don’t turn your leisure trips into business trips, but always be prepared if you meet someone that could be a potential client or help you get a better job. Keep a few business cards with you, and make a conscious effort to strike up conversations with strangers. You never know what could come of it!

Erik

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Erik

Erik Folgate is a husband and father living in Orlando who’s been writing about money online for 6 years. Digging himself out of $20k of debt after college and his former experience in the insurance industry give him some useful insights into personal finance issues.


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