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How to cut back on summer spending

For many people, spending can get out of control, and the credit card debt can sneak up on you. Even if you don't have a big vacation planned, day trips to the beach, summer blockbuster movies, dining out, weddings (with the obligatory presents), tennis lessons for the kids, and summer wardrobe additions can create big credit card bills. Of course, a summer vacation, even if it's just a road trip up or down the east coast, can easily run into the thousands for hotel and restaurant bills.

There are many ways to cut back on your summer spending and still have fun -- even if you have a houseful of kids and their friends to entertain. These may sound small, but they all add up to some significant savings. For example:

-- Keep snacks and drinks in your car for day trips so you don't have to stop at fast food places.

-- Take advantage of free events in your area such as outdoor concerts or make your home an entertainment venue for family and friends with movie nights and games.

-- Avoid stores like Target and Wal-Mart where you can easily go in for a few items and come out with hundreds of dollars in merchandise. Check out thrift stores for summer clothes.

-- Suspend your gym membership for a few months, and get your exercise outdoors.

-- Don't RSVP yes to every wedding invitation.

-- Look for opportunities to make some extra money with things like house sitting or dog walking

Whether you're already looking at significant credit card debt or you just want to avoid it, it's important to develop a plan at the beginning of the summer. Look at your financial situation and determine how much you need to cut back on your spending and create a budget that you can stick to. If your credit card debt is already out of control, it's probably wise to seek financial and legal advice.

Source: ConsumerCredit.com, "How to Avoid Summer Credit Card Debt," May 10, 2017

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