Summer is an exciting time of year. It’s perfect for kicking back, enjoying the warm weather, and exploring. However, all of this fun and games come at a cost. When you consider that summer is also the holiday season, it’s easy to fall into a summer debt trap during this time of year.
With three-quarters of Australian households already in some kind of debt, it’s important to protect your finances all year round. Because you don’t want to compromise on any summer fun, here are 5 tips to keep away from the summer debt trap in Australia.
1. Plan for the Holidays Early
Because summertime also means it’s the season of giving, start your planning early. Who said you could only begin planning for the holidays in December? The earlier you plan and prepare, the less financial burden on your wallet.
What do we mean by start planning early? Create a gift-giving shopping list well in advance. This extra time will mean you can shop discount stores, stick to your budget, and plan gifts that really matter. The same goes for holiday parties and other events. Don’t wait until the last minute and end up using debt to pay for your holiday cheer!
2. Enjoy Free Entertainment
In Australia, we’re lucky we have so much free entertainment available everywhere we look. From our endless coastline to natural wonders, there is so much to do in Australia that doesn’t cost a dollar. Take advantage of this time of year to enjoy the great outdoors!
If you’re more of a city slicker, look for free entertainment in your own city. The summertime is prime time for local events, activities, and happenings. Window shop downtown. Host a meal with friends. Enjoy a local park. Having fun doesn’t have to cost you big.
3. Travel Locally
Summertime is also a great time to travel. However, with more and more Aussies looking to pay down their debts, it’s important to consider your destination carefully. While it might be exciting to look into exotic and far-away locations, these come at a cost.
With the average cost of an Australian overseas holiday averaging $4,750 per person, it’s time to look for alternatives. The good news is you don’t have to travel far to experience something new! Here are some local travel ideas to get you started:
- Visit family – Visiting family allows you to cut down on costs while seeing somewhere new.
- Explore a nearby city – Is there a city you don’t make a trip to frequently? Taking a few days to explore this new place is a great way to enjoy the summer.
- Fly domestic – If you do choose to fly, avoid flying internationally. Domestic travel is much more affordable.
4. Do a “Staycation”
If travelling far is out of the budget completely, you can still do a summer getaway. Just do a “staycation.” This is when you explore your own city or town as a tourist. When we’re stuck in our routines, we rarely veer outside of our daily tasks. We travel the same roads to work, we visit the same restaurants, and we do the same things every weekend.
With a staycation, you get to step outside of this bubble. Explore your own backyard in a whole new way. Look online for travel guides to your local area and just explore. You never know what you might find!
5. Avoid the Summer Debt Trap By Monitoring Your Spending
Finally, the best tip to keep away from the summer debt trap is to simply monitor your spending. The first step to this is creating a realistic budget. Once you know where you stand financially, you’re in a better place to monitor your budget throughout the summer.
With the weather being so nice, it’s easy to get caught up in the summertime fun. There’s suddenly so much to do, and the holidays are quickly approaching. Don’t fall victim to the summer debt trap! It might be fun now, but it will only be a challenge to recover from in the cooler months.
Make this summer the chance to master strong financial habits. Use a budgeting app or spending spreadsheet to keep track of your money. Look for low-cost ways to have a great time with friends and family. This is the best time of year to get a grip on your financial future.
Escape The Summer Debt Trap
It’s easier than you think to get caught in the summer debt trap. From the lull of a fancy holiday to overspending during Christmas time, don’t spend more than you can afford this season. Your summer can be a great one without needing to put stress on your wallet.
Make this summer the time to build strong financial habits. Think about how you’ll feel in a few months. Is that expensive summer fun really worth it when you have to pay back with additional interest and fees? Probably not. For more help creating a summertime financial plan, contact the experts at Debt Busters on 1300 368 322.