Memorial Day. The official start to Summer 2014. And for once it sounds like it should be a beautiful weekend (no guarantee in South Dakota). Like so many people, we have plans for the weekend – hang out with my nephew (I guess my sister and brother-in-law too), swim, maybe some hiking or fishing. Who knows?
So what are your plans? Going somewhere? Attending an event? How about some great bbq? So many options for a long weekend.
How are you going to feel about it Tuesday morning when it is back to the real world? Any regrets? Afraid of the bills showing up? Got enough cash left for lunch?
Hey, it’s a holiday weekend and I don’t want to spoil your fun. I want to make sure you don’t regret that fun when the real world comes back. Why ruin a great weekend?
Here are some tips to make sure you can enjoy the holiday selfies later without experiencing regret:
- Plan ahead – Memorial Day (and most other holidays) happen about the same time each year. Start making plans well in advance so you can know ahead of time what you are going to do, how much it will cost, and how much extra money you have left to splurge with.
- Save ahead – Again, you know it’s coming. The last big spending event for most of us was Christmas. That was almost 6 months ago. If you had put a $20 bill aside each week since the beginning of the new year, that would be over $400 for you to spend this weekend without risking your lunch next week or worse – your rent/mortgage payment.
- Cash is king – if you have trouble sticking to the plan, leave the cards at home and only carry the cash that you intend to spend for the weekend. First, you can’t be tempted to use the ‘free money’ of credit cards when you are in the heat of the moment. Second, there can be great motivation in physically seeing the money slip through your fingers and not coming back. Many people report they find it much easier to budget with cash than with credit.
Granted, by the time you read this, the weekend may be over and it’s a little late for budgeting. But that’s only the case for this Memorial Day. There will be another one coming up next year right about the same time. In the mean time, be thinking any summer vacation, 4th of July (hello fireworks!), Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and many more opportunities to let loose.
Not sure where to start? Tried before and it didn’t quite work out? Center for Financial Resources can help you prioritize your goals and make a plan to reach those goals. You can find our services here and even schedule an appointment.
By all means, enjoys those days and take some great selfies. But also plan ahead so those selfies don’t trigger any regret (at least of the financial kind).
Have a great Memorial Day!
written by Breck Miller
images courtesy freedigitalphotos.net