How to have a life this summer without going broke

Oh the life of a Socialite during the summa summa time. Mimosa brunches, fitness challenges to keep that summer bod tight and right, lounging in the sun at the park, impromptu photoshoots, BBQs, pool parties, birthday parties, shopping dates…

Like you, the summer is my time to show up and show out. I don’t know what it is about the warm weather and sunshine, but it gives me all motivation to live my best life. And the urge to spend a lot of money. I thought I was alone in this until some of my girlfriends shared with me that the summer time is when they see their credit card balances go way up, and their savings accounts go way down.

Recently I was chatting with a woman named Brittney*. 23-year old, recent college graduate, working at a fashion tech company based in New York. I had first connected with her at a Socialite event and we were catching up over mimosas while she was visiting family in  San Francisco. As most conversations go with my friends, the topic quickly turned to money.

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It had been one year since Brittney had graduated from college and she had been with the company for about four months. Her salary was $55,000, and after taxes, etc- she was bringing home about $3,000 a month. She had four roommates and they were each paying $1,000 per month. Sidenote: this is the perfect rent to salary ratio for Brittney. Ideally, your rent will not exceed a third of your take -home pay.

“But,” she went on to say, “I am always broke. I have no idea where the rest of my money is going. And now that it’s summer, I feel like I’m whipping out my credit card every two seconds to buy a new outfit or concert tickets or whatever. This is the most money I’ve ever made and I know how to live on much less. But, it’s been a real struggle these last few months.”

I sympathized with Brittney. I could certainly understand that feeling of having more month than money. It is so stressful to live on a wish and a prayer that your account won’t be overdrawn, or that you can squeeze by without paying rent until the 5th, or seeing your credit card balance continue to rack up.

Needless to say, Brittney is not alone in this. So many people earning a decent income, still feel broke. They never feel like they have enough money and constantly have the urge to spend money they don’t have.

Especially during the summer.  During the months of sunshine, outdoor festivals and parties, none of us want to have the sense of FOMO. We all want to be involved in all the activities, buy new outfits for every occasion so we can have Instagram-worthy photos, and live our best lives.

But doing all of that doesn’t mean you have to risk your financial health. Being mindful about your money will save you headaches, anxiety and, it goes without saying, dollar bills! Here are some things you can do to have a life this summer, without going broke.

  1. Pick up a side hustle- or three. Yes, I’m sure you’d rather not add to your workload, but having an additional source of income will give you more discretionary income. Not to mention, the time you spend working means less time you will have to spend your money. Wink wink.

  2. Have your girlfriends come over and go for a walk. Instead of meeting for happy hour or brunch, invite your friends over for a party in your home. Ask everyone to bring a dish and drink to share. Not only are you saving money, but you’re also spending time in your beautiful home. Win-win!

  3. Check out your local area’s free events. Remember back in college when you would go to events because they had free food? Yea, I do! I didn’t care what the event was about as long as they fed me. Now that you’re a “grown-up”, doesn’t mean you can’t check out the free stuff. Look up your local area’s bloggers and check out their recommendations for free things to do.

  4. Go hiking or biking. Incorporate outdoor activities that are free to do. The summer time is the best time of year to get outside and explore hiking and biking trails.

  5. It may go without saying, but I have to mention that you also have to get real about your spending. Check your bank account on a weekly basis to review where you spent your money. The Radius Hybrid checking account is one to consider if you want to earn interest on your checking balance (and who doesn’t want to make money on their bank balance!). Being mindful about your spending is a big part of being the master of your money - not the other way around. For more tips on what to do during your weekly date, check out our article, What to do doing your weekly money date.

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*Name changed to protect identity

This post is sponsored by Radius Bank