We’re fresh off of Christmas, the most expensive season of the year. If you spent a bit more than you should have, spring is a great time to scale back. It’s a chance to revisit financial goals for the new year, and to be careful with our spending so we don’t end up in trouble.
This seems logical and pretty easy, but spring often brings its own opportunities to overspend. As always, this happens from us falling into the spending traps of wants, not needs.
Here are a few of those traps that you should keep in mind so that you don’t end up falling into any of them yourself:
First off, gym memberships are not necessarily a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with deciding that working out more is going to be one of your New Year’s Resolutions.
Still, you should be very careful about making the decision to shell out on this. Gym memberships are expensive, and a good gym is going to charge a high monthly rate.
You could save a lot of money and still get great exercise in your living room with a youtube video or running on the streets
All too often, people end up paying for a gym membership for a full year and don’t use it enough. If it’s inside your budget and a membership is important to you, go for it, but please don’t pay for one and never use it.
Even if it’s within your budget, it’s a good idea to start out exercising at home to make sure you’re committed before you make a costly mistake.
An Entirely New Wardrobe
Spring means that the weather is about to change, this usually means that your wardrobe is about to change too. Coats, jackets, and boots just aren’t as useful in the spring and summer.
This leaves you with two options. You could go out and buy a bunch of new clothes to fill your closet, or you could pull out all of your warm-weather clothes from last year.
There’s no doubt that it can be a whole lot of fun to buy new things, but to achieve financial security, you have to evaluate if you need to buy new things.
Here are a few ways to make this change in the weather easier on the wallet.
First, when you do have to buy clothes, buy clothes that aren’t season-specific. If your closet is full of clothes that you’d feel comfortable wearing year-round, then you won’t feel as pressured to hit the mall.
Another option is thrift shopping. It’s amazing what you can find at a thrift or second-hand store. People often donate high-quality clothing items that end up at a second-hand store, and you can benefit from that.
If you feel self-conscious about buying from second-hand or thrift stores, don’t. It’s an easy way to save a whole lot of money, you can still find clothing you actually want to wear, and nobody will know!
Expensive Spring Vacations
After spending a couple of weeks relaxing over Christmas, it’s fun to start looking for the next opportunity to relax. For most of us, that will probably come in the summer.
But it can be hard to wait that long, especially when the weather starts to warm up. It would be nice to take a little break before summer and go away for a while.
Let’s be clear that there’s nothing wrong with going on a vacation if it doesn’t interfere with your work or career. There is something wrong with going on a vacation you can’t afford.
It’s a big myth that vacations have to be expensive. If you’ve got money for a couple of tanks of gas, then there’s somewhere amazing you can get to.
There are national and state parks all over the country with jaw-dropping scenery, amazing hikes, and memorable experiences. These can make great day trips, fun campouts, or, relaxing overnight stays.
Another way to make vacation cheaper is by going somewhere during an offseason. For example, Park City Utah is a huge attraction for anyone who loves the outdoors. Utah enjoys world-class ski snow, and Park City has a ton of ski resorts. During the winter, Park City is packed to the brim with snow lovers from all over the world.
On the other hand, summer is much less busy, but there is still a lot to do. There are thousands of miles of hiking or mountain biking trails, fun restaurants, and other activities. Because it’s so much less busy in the summer, hotel costs can drop to only 20% of their wintertime prices.
Being financially conscious is important all year round, but spring is a time when there are a lot of costly mistakes that are easy to make. With the balance of needs and wants in mind and a little creativity, your spring can be just as amazing as the one that costs twice as much.