Smart budget moves for summer

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COLUMBIA - While consumers daydream about relaxing vacations, fun travel plans, or getting a break from work, they could be making budget moves to enhance their summer experience. 

Making smart budget decisions now could help you avoid financial stress in the future. 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said the first step is to create a budget for your planned activities. Write down what money you have coming in, and where your money goes. This will help you with spending decisions on your trip.

The BBB said some daily lifestyle costs can be cut down, such as eating out. The money you save from these expenses can be put away in a summer fund. The BBB said to compare your wants with your needs and cut costs from there. 

Analyzing your current bank accounts could be another way to trim unnecessary costs. Extra costs and unnecessary fees associated with certain types of bank accounts can add up. The BBB recommends shopping around for the best rates and considering fees and other features of various saving accounts when signing up.

Increasing your income can also help you when planning for your summer activities. Getting a part-time job, or selling personal items online or in a yard sale could be a way of making some more money for your summer needs. Even small actions like saving $10 a week can grow to a substantial amount.

As a general tip, the BBB said it's important to review your budget regularly to make sure you're still on track. If you're having trouble sticking to it, don't be afraid to revise it to accommodate your needs. 

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