Summer is around the corner. It’s a time for sunshine, celebration, travel and usually, spending way too much money! My goal for all of us this summer is to have and experience all the wonderful things we want, without the stress, guilt and sabotage of our long-term goals that often comes along with it (I’d love to help you get there!). You might be thinking… “Ashley, that sounds great but I how is that even possible?!”
The first and very critical step in planning for a crazy fun summer without the money stress is to figure out what you want for yourself this summer and beyond. Why both summer and beyond? We of course want to have a spectacular summer but we also want to make progress towards our long-term goals. Maybe you have been working hard to pay off your student loans and/or credit card debt, really want to build your rainy day fund or max out your 401-K. Don’t you want to stay on track with that goal AND go on vacation in August?
First, write down your long-term savings goals, whatever they are, and check in with how much you are contributing to them each pay-check, month and year. At this rate, how long will it take you to reach your goals? Once you have that information, you can decide if that works for you or not. There are no wrong answers here. We are just taking an honest look at where our money is going so we can decide if the current system works for us.
Then, we get to think more short-term. Beyond your day-to-day lifestyle (we’ll get to that next week), are there any bigger expenses you are saving for this summer? Are you planning a vacation, a few weekend trips or any celebrations that you will need to put money aside for? Maybe you have a big vacation planned for the winter but know you want to be saving now. Write down these short-term savings goals and check-in with how much they are going to cost you. How much will you want to put aside each paycheck or month to make them happen by the time you need to buy the plane ticket, book the hotel or buy the gift?
That’s it! That’s step one. Here’s your homework:
1. Write down your longer-term savings goals.
2. How much are you contributing to each goal per paycheck, each month & each year?
3. At this rate, how long will it take you to reach your goals? Does that work for you?
4. Write down your shorter-term summer savings goals.
5. How much will each of them cost?
6. How much will you want to put aside each paycheck / month to save up in time?
If this process completely overwhelms you, you’re not alone! Remember one of my favorite quotes from Barbara Stanny:
“Our degree of resistance around money is proportional to the degree of power available to us on the other side of that resistance.”
The good news is, the more you’ve been avoiding this and the more difficult this is for you, the more you have to gain on the other side of conquering it! I’d love to help you get there!