credit card spending at the beach

The holiday gift-giving season isn’t the only time you should worry about credit card spending. 

In a new survey from Noddle, a British provider of credit reports, 57% of Brits indicated they spend more money during the summer than during the winter — the equivalent of nearly $217 (U.S.) extra per month. That’s according to a article.

Here’s why credit card spending often increases during the summer months:

Why does a rise in the temperature lead to a rise in spending?

Findings of the survey, which questioned more than 1,300 people, suggest that summer weather perks us up and encourages us to hang out more often with family and friends. This, in turn, can encourage us to spend more money.

Jacqueline Dewey, managing director of Noddle, says: “It’s important to keep a close eye on your bank balance and not slip into relying on credit to bridge the gap between paydays over the next few months.”

How to ensure your summer is financially sunny

Dewey recommends creating a summertime credit card spending budget that accounts for the added seasonal spending.

“Using your credit card a small amount each month is healthy for your credit score,” she says, “but if you start to overspend or miss payments, this can have a detrimental effect on your score, making it harder to get credit when you need it for larger items like a mortgage or car.”

So, how can you ease the burden of summertime splurging? Noddle provides these tips:

  • Make lunch at home rather than eating out during your workday lunch break. According to USA Today, there’s a roughly $5 gap between bringing your lunch to work ($6.30 a day, based on 2015 numbers) and eating out at lunch ($11 a day).
  • Cut back on your coffee consumption at places like Starbucks. It’s common for a Starbucks drink to cost $3.50 to $4.50.
  • Automatically deposit some of your paycheck into a savings account. In February 2018, Americans set aside just 3.4% of their disposable income for savings.

Here are some additional suggestions from yours truly:

  • Take a walk, take the bus or subway, or ride your bike instead of taking Uber or Lyft. A typical Uber or Lyft ride in the U.S. can easily cost $10.
  • Set up a savings account for one purpose — to cover expenses for summer vacations. Last year, Americans spent more than $100 billion on summer vacations.
  • Get rid of cable or satellite TV. The average monthly bill is around $100.

(Summer starts in June, so it’s not too early to adopt these recommendations to shape your summertime spending plans.)

Guaranteeing a pleasant foreca$t

Many of us struggle to juggle expenses. But if you establish a budget, track your spending and cut costs, you’re more likely to enjoy your summer and less likely to get the wintertime blues. And less likely to run up the balances on your credit cards.

A pile of big credit card bills can clearly lead to a cloudy forecast for summertime fun.

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