The Fourth of July is nearly here! While the weekend is sure to be packed with fireworks, barbeques and quality family time, it’s also when businesses noticeably step up their marketing efforts and create splashy holiday sales. In fact, it seems like everything goes on sale, from cars and furniture to clothes and pricy electronics. Plus, many retailers extend their hours to make it even easier to buy. On the hunt for a good deal? Then it may make sense to try to make it happen over a holiday weekend.
Only, there’s a big challenge to this approach. If you’re like nearly half of Americans, you overspend on holiday weekends. And if you’re a parent with children under 18, you are 64 percent more likely to spend money on big ticket items. So, how can you enjoy your Fourth of July weekend, still hit those sales and keep an eye on your budget?
One strategy may be easier than you think: Use cash.
Why Cash Makes Sense
Cash is an easy way to hold yourself accountable, especially over holiday weekends when there’s a greater risk of overspending. People who use cash can literally see how much they are spending and how much remains, forcing them to become conscious spenders. In other words, there’s a much lower chance that you’ll be spending “a little here,” “a little there,” and “a little over there”—because you’re in control.
Make a Plan
If you want to make a commitment to using cash, hold yourself to it by doing a little planning up front. How much cash do you think you’ll realistically need to get through the holiday weekend and enjoy yourself? What purchases are you planning to make? Estimate your expenses. If you need help estimating items like groceries and gas—things you pay for weekly—then look at your recent credit card statements to get a feel for what you typically spend.
Don’t feel the need to create a tight budget. The beauty of using cash is that you’ll spend less naturally. Take out enough cash when you visit the ATM so that you’re going to feel comfortable. It’s not about restricting yourself, it’s about gaining greater control and visibility into your spending habits.
Hit the ATM on Wednesday
This is your follow-through. Stop by your favorite ATM on the Wednesday before the Fourth of July and take out the cash you need. Cashing up on Wednesday gives you a buffer to make sure you have it on hand for the weekend, and allows you to get it out of the way before you get busy with all the holiday festivities.
See the Difference
Now comes the time for a bit of self-observation. How do you feel after the holiday weekend? Did you only use cash on hand? Were you successfully able to avoid credit cards? Next, peek in your wallet. We’re guessing you have cash leftover—likely more than you expected!
An easy way to stop overspending every weekend is Withdraw Cash Wednesday. When you sign up for Withdraw Cash Wednesday tips and reminders, you’re making the commitment to improve your life by spending with cash.
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