4 money-saving moves to start NOW before summer ends

By Rebecca Lake

Reviewed by Kimberly Rotter

Aug 29, 2023

Read time: 3 min

SOC_Smart money moves to make if you-re not planning an end-of-summer vacation_V2-R1_1280x720_01 (1).jpg

About half of us aren’t planning a vacation to round out this summer. That’s a chunk of cash you’re not spending. We've got a few ideas to help you make the most of it.

SOC_Smart money moves to make if you-re not planning an end-of-summer vacation_V2-R1_1280x720_02.jpg

1. Cover back-to-school spending

Listen, if you've got kids, you know how expensive back-to-school shopping can be. 

The supply list seems to get longer every year, not to mention new clothes, shoes, and maybe a laptop or tablet. The more kids you have, the more money you might have to shell out.

Using your summer savings on back-to-school costs is a no-brainer if you're worrying over how you're going to cover it all. You can make that money go even further by researching different ways to save on back to school shopping.

SOC_Smart money moves to make if you-re not planning an end-of-summer vacation_V2-R1_1280x720_03.jpg

2. Save up for holiday shopping

The holidays are prime time for spending, and it's easy to get caught up in the frenzy. That can lead to trouble if you're charging everything to a credit card. 

No one wants to start the new year with a debt hangover. So if you've got money saved because you skipped your summer vacation, why not use it to pay for holiday expenses? 

That's a simple way to set your budget for the season. Whatever you don't spend on summer plans is what you can spend on the holidays. 


3. Top up your emergency fund

Life happens and when it does, it can take a toll on your finances. That's where an emergency fund comes in to save the day. 

Emergency savings can help you get through a job loss or cover expenses you hadn't planned on. Use the money you didn't spend on summer vacation plans to start or grow your emergency fund. If you have decent emergency savings, then you won’t have to rely on credit cards if and when the unexpected happens.


4. Get ahead on bills

Paying bills is so much fun. Said no one. Ever. 

If you feel like you're constantly playing catch-up with bills, get some breathing room by using your summer savings to get ahead. 

Start with any bills that you might be behind on, then pay bills that have upcoming due dates. If you're already paid up on monthly bills, skip ahead or prepay for an expense you know will come soon. It’s one more smart way to put your savings to work.


5. Pay off some debt

In a perfect world, you're paying your credit cards in full each month and you don't have any other debt (except maybe a mortgage). 

But…that's not reality for everyone, right? So if you've got some debt you're working on paying off, it makes great sense to use money you didn't spend on summer plans to chip away at your balance. 

Which debt should you pay down? 

Mathematically, it makes sense to get rid of your debt with the highest interest rate. But you might decide to pay off a smaller debt instead, to have one less payment to make each month.

Talk to a professional debt consultant to figure out the best approach. 

Rebecca Lake - Author

Rebecca is a senior contributing writer and debt expert. She's a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a banking expert for Forbes Advisor. In addition to writing for online publications, Rebecca owns a personal finance website dedicated to teaching women how to take control of their money.

kim rotter 2022 2

Kimberly is Achieve’s senior editor. She is a financial counselor accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education®, and a mortgage expert for The Motley Fool. She owns and manages a 350-writer content agency.

Article Topics

At Achieve, it’s not what we stand for, it’s who.

Achieve Person