Summer Wish List: Can I Afford That?

Home improvements, a weekend at your favorite lake up north, the newest backyard BBQ…the list of seasonal wishes is long this time of year.

How do you know what you can actually afford without breaking the bank? The experts at CCF have tips to help evaluate your true disposable income and what to look for, expense-wise, when considering a summer wish list purchase. 

Spending is Personal – what we spend on is what we personally value. Sit down with your partner or family and see what matters to each of you.
    • If your family loves grilling out on the weekends, then buying a reliable grill is a good investment in family time.
    • If re-doing that bathroom will add value to your home and works into your budget, then it’s a good investment in home improvement.
    • If money is tight and you can’t spend much, look at what you CAN do – find a used grill in good condition on Facebook Marketplace instead of buying a brand new one, or put on a fresh coat of paint and update the hardware instead of redoing the entire bathroom. 
Evaluate Expenses - Get a true picture of your available income so you know exactly what’s coming in and where it’s going.
    • Some of your disposable income could be going to waste on things like unused subscriptions, which are often on auto payment/renewal. Did you sign up for a coffee-of-the-month box that is piling up in your cupboard? Cancel it and save those dollars instead.  
    • Log into mobile or online banking to review your monthly spending and see where you can save. Evaluate what automatic payments are being deducted. Sometimes we forget about things until we see it on the bank statement.
    • Negotiate your monthly bills – car insurance, cable, cell phone…if you haven’t shopped around for the best price recently, now is the time. 
Fund Your Fun Wisely – Once you've made the decision, it's important to make wise funding choices to make those summer wishes come true.
    • Instead of using your credit card to finance a summer wish list item, consider a Summer Loan.
    • These small personal loans offer amounts up to $5,000, have a set payback schedule, and have a lower interest rate than a standard credit card. 
    • If you're a Cornerstone member, you might have a Summer Loan already waiting for you in your Personalized Offers!
Wishing you a summer filled with sun and fun!