After a long and chilly winter, most Canadians are ready to bask in the sun during the brief season we call summer. It doesn’t last long, so you want to get the most out of your summer as possible. There’s only one thing in your way: your finances. Bad finances can make it impossible for you to book time off work and take the vacation you truly deserve.

It’s often the same issues standing in your way of a fantastic holiday. Here are three common reasons why most people can’t go online. Make sure you aren’t making these mistakes, and you’ll be better prepared for your vacation.

Summer finances

1. You don’t use a budget

A budget isn’t just for gigantic corporations like Amazon, which spent $10 billion on marketing alone just last year. They’re for people just like you. Though yours will be a lot smaller than the e-commerce giant’s financial plan, this document is still an important tool. It tracks every dollar going in and out of your hands, so you know where your money is going any given day. Once you know the path every dollar takes, it’s easy to identify bad spending habits you should quit.

2. You spend too much money on unnecessary things

This is a hard concept to swallow, especially in today’s society when convenience makes you spend more than you intend on things you don’t need. This habit prioritizes your present comfort and happiness at the expense of your future. Whether it’s the ability to take a cross-Canada road trip this summer or the ability to contribute towards RRSPs, wasting your money on unnecessary things compromises your financial freedom. Some common unnecessary spending includes:

  • That morning coffee you buy on your way to work. The solution? Start bringing a homemade cup of joe in a travel mug. Home brewed coffee is just $0.20 per cup compared to the $2.29 bill at Starbucks.
  • Picking up takeout for lunch. The solution? Try making a bagged lunch from home. Use this guide to find creative dishes that will keep you satisfied, so you can avoid the temptation of fast food.

3. You don’t have a savings account

Most financial experts suggest you have more than one savings account. Savings are more than just for a faraway future when you plan to retire. They’re for when you want to make one of life’s biggest purchases, like a new home or car. They’re for emergencies when a broken fridge or flooded basement needs immediate attention. They’re also for fun things, like buying a brand new second-generation Pixel or return tickets to Bali. You have to make a concerted effort to contribute to these savings if you expect them to help.

When your savings are at $0, there’s financial assistance that can help you meet some of your needs. Traditional retail banks offer mortgages and personal loans to cover the big things. Online lenders like GoDay can help you cover the smaller emergencies when you get a fast payday loan. When it comes to payday loans Canada has a huge selection of services that can help you during time-sensitive emergencies. As for your summer holiday fund? No one but you can help you fill that with enough loonies you can take your trip.

In the meantime, use high interest savings accounts to help build your own emergency fund. As long as you find accounts that don’t require minimum balances or monthly fees, there’s no harm in making an account for each goal. In fact, financial experts suggest you keep your retirement, emergency, and travel fund separate, so you won’t be tempted to skim from any of them.

Summer doesn’t last long in Canada. Though it’s just around the corner, it’ll be over before you know it. Don’t let something like your finances stop you from making the most out of your vacation. Make a budget, so you can take control of your spending and start contributing to savings. It’s a fool-proof plan to prepare for the sunny weather.