As the season of outdoor fun and vacations, summer can easily become a time of excess spending. Rooftop bar happy hours, travel expenses and one too many popsicles bought from the neighborhood ice cream truck add up fast. If spending isn’t curbed, before you know it, you’re headed into another fall with a depleted bank account and holiday costs looming around the corner.
It doesn’t have to be this way. See our tips on how to save money while still enjoying the summer.
When at Home
Summer often brings to mind days spent lounging about on far-away tropical beaches.
While burying your toes in the sand can be great for both your mental and physical health, the majority of people can’t afford to take an entire summer off from work and home obligations. What you can do is still enjoy your summer while saving money for the future.
Stash Away Pocket Change
Carrying cash has become somewhat outdated with the rise of credit cards and money sharing apps. Cashless societies are even growing in probability as Sweden is expected to become the world’s first by March 2023.
Stateside, however, cash is still very much in use and even touted by many as a great way to manage personal budgeting.
After a long day out and about, don’t toss loose pocket change and dollars aside to be forgotten. Set aside a jar in a central location to stash them and save up – you can even set small end-of-summer goals for additional incentive.
Have a Yard Sale
It’s hard to save money when you don’t have enough excess to do so. An easy way to make some extra money for savings during the summer is to host a yard sale. So go Marie Kondo on all of the clutter in your life and put it up for sale to people who might actually put your forgotten items to better use.
Put Your Expensive Gym Membership on Pause
If you haven’t used your gym membership since making resolutions back in January, the summer is the perfect time to ditch those monthly costs and reevaluate. Instead, take advantage of the warmer weather and stay active outside. Join a sand volleyball league, hit the pool or explore affordable classes and lessons available through your nearby community center.
Cut Back on Cable
Winters are for hibernating on the couch in front of your television. Summers are for outdoor exploration. Cut back on your cable package or use these months to explore more flexible, cheaper alternatives to cable TV altogether.
Automate Your Savings
It’s easy to save when you don’t have to think about it, or when you’re not used to having the money available for you to spend in the first place.
Work with your employer and bank to set aside a portion of your paycheck for direct depositing into a savings account every month. AAA members can also take advantage of Deposit Programs, offered by Discover. Open a 12, 24, or 60-month CD and build on your savings investment with preferred member interest rates.
Sell Seasonal Clothes on Consignment
Local consignment stores are another great way to make money on things you no longer use or wear. Sort through your closet and separate items out by seasonality. Many consignment locations will begin buying items for fall to resell towards the end of summer.
Bike or Walk to Run Errands
Save money on gas and car maintenance by ditching your car during the summer months. It’s a great way to add a little more change to your pocket and stay active when running errands or exploring your community.
Air Dry Dishes and Clothes
Every little bit helps when making changes to your spending habits during the summer. Minimize gas and electric utility costs by limiting the use appliances in the home. Instead of using the dishwasher or dryer, go old school and let Mother Nature work her magic when it comes to drying clothes and dishes.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Thermostat technology has advanced greatly over the last decade. If you’re not already using some of the best thermostats currently on the market, do some research and make the switch. You might be able to even bypass AC altogether on cooler summer days.
Summer is an ideal time for travel. Work schedules are often more flexible, kids are off school, and the weather is prime for days spent out and about. The best part is, you don’t have to deplete your savings to enjoy a quality summer vacation.
Take to the Great Outdoors
It’s easy to find savings on hotels, but what many forget is that it’s also easy (and cheaper) to make the great outdoors your home away from home. Grab a tent and find a campsite near you for a good, cost-efficient escape from the everyday.
Shop Bundled Deals
Look for bundled and all-inclusive travel deals that offer flight, hotel and meals (and sometimes more!) for one price.
Find Free Entertainment
Outside of getting to your destination, what you do while there can come with a heavy price tag. Avoid tourist traps at all costs and instead opt to veer off the beaten path, while keeping safety a priority. Stop by area visitor centers to peruse brochures of lesser-known but accredited destinations, find local discounts and get recommendations from locals.
Stay With Friends and Family
One of the easiest ways to save money when traveling over the summer is to split or eliminate accommodation costs completely. Get a change of scenery and make plans to visit family and friends, while also taking advantage of spare bedrooms (or the couch) when available.
Get Spontaneous With Last-Minute Trips
Sometimes you can get lucky with cheap standby flights, but if you’re looking for something a little less spontaneous, embrace a bit of flexibility. Travel on weekdays, look at alternate airports or rent a car. Remain conscious of even the smallest ways you can save to see the return add up over time.
Use Your Vacation Rental Kitchen
Vacation rentals can save you money upfront and during. Instead of eating out for every meal when traveling during the summer, stop by a local grocery store and put your rental kitchen to use. If the place you’re staying offers a backyard patio and grill setup, even better.
Sign Up for Cheap Flight Alerts
Subscribing to cheap flight alerts and travel newsletters is a great way to stay on top of the best deals during summer.
Why spend money to check a bag when you can carry everything you need on your back? Plan ahead and avoid packing at the last minute so you can be more methodical about what you’re bringing along for the ride. When booking accommodations, look for places that make doing laundry easily accessible so you can minimize outfits packed.
Travel to Less Popular Destinations During Off-Peak Times
Just because a destination is popular, doesn’t mean it’s worth going to. Especially when there are so many incredible places to choose from at a much lower price tag.
It’s more than possible to have an unforgettable summer at unforgettable savings. Do your research, stay mindful and be willing to embrace a bit of the unknown whether spending time at home or on-the-go.