Why Now Is The Perfect Time to Debt Proof Your SummerMar 28, 2018
Looking forward to the summer months, but not the debt that summer sometimes brings? As discussed in our podcast, many families who are currently feeling the financial squeeze caused by a combination of too much debt, increased cost of childcare and recent interest rate increases are likely looking toward summer with a little trepidation. Here’s how you can prepare as a family for a debt free summer and also help your kids better understand how to manage their money responsibly and avoid debt in the future.
Set summer goals
Now is the perfect time to set your sights on summer and create some goals. For families who are already feeling a bit overwhelmed by the consumer debt they owe, avoiding adding unnecessary debt should be goal number one. Working towards debt relief should also be a top priority.
Discussing these, and any other summer financial goals you may have, with your family is an important way to make sure everyone is understanding and on the same page when it comes to planning summer goals. It is also a good way to model responsible financial behaviours for your kids.
Make a plan
Once your summer goals have been created, it’s time to create a plan to make them happen. One of the best ways to prepare for the summer is to create a summer spending budget as a family. Work out a total amount that you can comfortably spend on summer fun without incurring more consumer debt and then create your budget based on this amount. Not only will this help you plan ahead, but it will also help your kids understand why some activities and trips may not be possible this year as they just don’t fit in the budget.
For older kids, particularly those who have a part-time job and are saving for University or College, creating their own summer budget is also a good idea. This will help them to save for their future goals and help them to develop responsible money management skills in the process.
Focus on the important stuff
Finally, in order to ensure your summer is enjoyable and debt free, it’s important to keep everything in perspective and focus on the fact that the best things in life are free. Remind your family that although it’s great to go on big trips and experience fun activities together, it’s really all about spending time together rather than spending a lot of money.