Even if you work diligently through the first half of the year to stick to your budget, the “summer splurge” can ruin the second half. Longer days, warmer air, and social engagements make summer the perfect time to relax and socialize. But letting summer’s laid-back attitude wear off on you too much can lead to bills you’re not prepared to pay. Splurge: All your college friends’ out of town weddings Fix: Carpooling and sharing a hotel room/suite with other wedding guests you know. Splurge: A huge grocery bill to throw a barbecue Fix: Provide the meat and ask your guests to bring drinks and side dishes Splurge: A spontaneous weekend trip to the lake Fix: Camping at the lake rather booking a cabin or hotel If you know your entertainment, travel, and food expenses will be larger in the summer, try to account for that early in the year by saving a little extra. That way, when the opportunity to be spontaneous comes up, you don’t have to pinch pennies to make it happen. Check your area for FREE events and entertainment. Some towns host outdoor movies or music in the summer. Look at sales ads. Many grocery stores run sales on barbecue-friendly foods during the summer months.