As summer approaches, our minds tend to wander towards having fun in the sun, letting all serious matters – such as our finances – fall to the wayside. But what if you could have the best of both worlds during the summer by making your finances feel fun? Keep reading to check out a couple of enjoyable yet easy financial challenges you can tackle throughout the warmer months ahead.
Challenge #1: Go cash-only for a month.
It is super easy to lose track of your spending when you have a debit or credit card at your fingertips, and late-night online shopping binges are just a click away. So, this summer, let’s switch things up. For one month only, challenge yourself to go on a cash-only diet. If you want something, you’ll need to withdraw the money and pay for it in cash – no matter what it is. (Yes, this means no online-shopping.) You’ll find it a lot harder to part ways with your hard-earned catch when you watch it slip out of your hands. (If you want to go the extra mile, you could even put your Netflix and Spotify subscriptions on pause.)
Challenge #2: Stop shopping for 40 days and 40 nights.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of taking on a challenge and winning, but this will be a hard one – especially during the summer. For 40 days, you cannot buy anything that you classify as a want, not need (be truthful, here). So, groceries? They’re fine. A subway pass? Go for it. But adding a tub of chocolate ice-cream and a magazine to your shopping cart? Not so cool. If it’s not an absolute necessity, an item that you need in your life, you can’t buy it for the entire 40-day period (or a period of your choosing).
Challenge #3: Make all your food for a month.
Thanks to apps like Seamless, getting freshly-cooked food delivered to your house is just a click away. Except for you. For a month. That’s right, if you accept this challenge, you must make all your food for a full month. That means no dining out, no Starbucks coffee, no Seamless deliveries – zip, nothing, nada. Happily, that doesn’t eliminate the social aspect of dining out. You can still have your friends around for dinner or organise a potluck meal where everyone brings a dish. Bonus: You can elevate your cooking skills.
Challenge #4: Reduce your bills.
Picture this: You wake up in the morning, the temperature is rising – fast – so you flick on the AC and lounge around in your PJs for a while. We’ve all been there. But if you challenge yourself to reduce your bills this summer, it won’t be so easy. Look at your electricity bill from last summer and challenge yourself to reduce the amount you paid. That might mean sweating it out, but it also might mean making simple changes: wear fewer clothes, turn the AC off five minutes earlier than you’d like, turn all the lights off, close the windows. Easy tweaks can make the difference with this challenge.