Avoid Racking Up Credit Card Bills this Summer

Summer is the time for travel, entertainment, and the kids are now out of school and freed up to participate in more activities.  All of this adds up to big spending, not to mention gas, airline, and lodging costs are increasing to peak levels.  While summer means fun, there needs to be discipline when it comes to opening up your wallet.  With a few spending methods it could add up to a lower credit card statement by the time the summer comes to an end.

Use Cash Instead of Plastic

Using your credit card seems like play money, can add up the charges and not notice until the statement comes in the mail and sends you into shock.  A great way to curb spending habits is to use cash instead of credit.  With a set amount of cash on hand, if you stick to spending what you have you will not go over, will start to think long and hard about purchases as you hand actual money over during a transaction.  Maybe the thought of handing money over will reduce unnecessary spending and leave a little left over for important purchases.

Plan a Staycation

Instead of plunking down thousands to send your family to Disney this summer during peak travel months, plan a stay-at-home-vacation.  There are plenty of activities to do that are within driving distances, such as a zoo, beach, amusement park, and are able to save on lodging and drive home after.  Entertainment expenses are the first to be cut when money is tight, so instead of putting the annual family vacation on the chopping block, plan shorter trips and stay local.  If you are lucky enough to have family on a lake or a pool, start sucking up now.

Check Garage Sales

Items do not have to be new to be in and around your home.  Garage sales will be on the rise during the summer months as the spring cleaning sessions are over and items are piled up to try and sell to clear space, so spend a Saturday afternoon seeing if there are any hidden gems.  Go through your own basement and attic and see if there are anything you can sell, and take the profits to treat your family to a night out.  If you are not interested in selling, then take a trip the thrift store and shelves will likely be stocked with the spring donations.

If, inevitably, you find yourself in a pinch and start seeing those credit card balances rise, then there are alternative options. Credit cards can be good for rewards points, but paying interest fees can eat away at any benefit from using them. Instead, if you own your car then consider title loans. These can be especially useful if you are unable to even meet your minimum card payment each month. You don’t want to ruin your credit over a few tight months. These title loans allow you to borrow against the balance of your car.

 

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