This time of year, people are taking trips, summer vacations or spending money on backyard fun. It is easy to get jealous if your bank account doesn't support these activities.  Many times, we only think about how much money we make in our paycheck or how much our monthly bills cost.  But the difference between that great family vacation or pool in the backyard may be more about the small choices we make each day.

This was on a friends Facebook page the other day:  You spend $10 a day on lunch, that is $300 in a month.  $900 in 3 months and $3,600 in a year!  You can afford to travel, you just don't like making sandwiches! Original post from Stephen Thurston.

Do you even know how much money you are spending each week on items you don't really value?  Stops at the convenient store for sodas and snacks can add up fast.  Trinket items or toys at discount stores.  Unnecessary craft supplies, household nick knacks or downloads off the app store.  Each small purchase can add up fast over time, preventing you from doing the bigger things you wish to enjoy.

Deciding what you want to do and setting a goal is the first step.  Let's say it is a family vacation over Labor Day.  If you start your "not spending" July 1st, you have 8 weeks to find the money!

Use the last week in June for step two, Tracking your Spending.  Find the place you are spending money in ways you don't really value.  Maybe it is a convenience item you could substitute with something else, like changing lunch from eating out to a sandwich.

Make the adjustment and watch your money start to grow.  Hopefully, you can find one small item that can help you finish out your summer with a great family memory.  Once you finish this summer, start "not spending" and saving for an adventure next summer.

Who knows, you might even learn to like making sandwiches if it means you can eat one next summer on a beach!  Given the example ... $3,600 would make for an exceptional trip or backyard fun next year.