Wow, what a summer this has been. Honestly, I think this summer has been busier than last summer, and I got married last summer! I’ve camped, I’ve been to the beach, I’ve hiked, I went to the fair and to my favourite city twice. I’ve drank beer and sangria, went to a bachelorette party and took many sunset bike rides. I’ve enjoyed camp fires and gardening and riverside walks and road races amongst 5,000 other competitors. In short, it’s been an amazing summer, but I’m glad that it’s nearly over.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to miss the golden sunsets and the long evenings. I enjoyed running in the hot, sticky heat of late afternoon and I wish I could keep my bike rides instead of the snow storms that I know are coming. What I’m not going to miss is the strain all of that fun put on my budget. This whole summer I’ve had an extra line item in my budget for these extra costs, but even then I do occasionally get stressed about how much I’m spending on all of the lovely awesome summer fun. Fall has it’s own amazing aspects, one of which is that it’s usually cheaper than summer.
I’m actually pretty happy about how much I’ve been able to anticipate the costs of the summer and how much I’ve been able to build into my budget. At the start of every month I sit down and look at what’s coming this month, and I made sure I had enough in my “fun” budget to accommodate it.
This is the first summer I’ve ever done that. In summers before this, I’d allocate every last dollar to debt repayment, and then scramble to find money to do the fun stuff, or abstain all together. I think this way is better, I’m less stressed (although not completely stress free) about money, even if I am a little wistful about how much I could be saving if I wasn’t spending so much money on living.
This fall, I plan on getting back into saving. I’ve already gotten started on that goal, but September is a toss up because I’m going to FinCon in New Orleans in mid September, which is going to be exciting, but probably also a little expensive. After that, October will hopefully be slower, with only a few small celebrations, including my 25th birthday and my anniversary, both of which I plan on celebrating frugally.
Summer is great, but it’s also expensive if you want to take advantage (even frugally!) of the wonderful weather. Here in Canada, we have such a short summer that it’s tough to hold back and pass on any invitation to this or that awesome event. I don’t regret all of the money I’ve been spending to have fun this summer, but I’m ready for the quieter fall to make an appearance.