Summer has arrived, which means things are about to get busy! For many of us, this season means plenty of fun in the sun, but it can also mean overspending. Check out some tips on how to save money on summer fun and keep your wallet happy.
Make a Budget Early and Stick to it
If you don’t want to overspend this summer, your first step is to make a budget. First, figure out exactly how much you’re spending each month. Look at your bank statements, receipts, and financial files and calculate an average for six months to get an accurate number. Add up everything you spent for the last six months and divide by six. Subtract that amount from your monthly income. If you’re making more money than you’re spending, that’s great! You can set aside a portion of that extra money for summer fun.
In the short-term, determine a weekly budget for summer fun. Calculate how much you can spend based on your expenses, and create the budget based on that. If your spending is more than you earn, you may want to learn some helpful way to curb overspending.
Save on Vacation by Staying Local
You don’t have to go all out to have a great summer vacation. Camping, hiking and picnicking are all great ways to keep costs low while still having a blast with your family. Check your official city website to find local parks, trails and campgrounds in your area that you may not have been to for an all-new adventure. The National Park service also makes finding sports a snap on its website.
Save on Transportation Costs
Now that the weather is nice, you can take the opportunity to save on travel costs by opting out of driving. Consider walking, biking or carpooling with friends to places. It’s truly a win-win, as you will save on the cost of gas while exercising in the beautiful summer weather.
Plan Ahead to Save on the Costs of Movies and Theme Parks
The true secret to save at an amusement park is to never buy tickets at the park entrance. You can save significantly on ticket prices by signing up for the theme park newsletters online. Often, they will send you an email with discounted ticket codes or early-bird specials. Supermarkets and discount bulk stores will often sell tickets to local amusement parks at a discount.
For movie buffs lining up for some summer blockbusters, go to a matinee to save on the ticket cost. Also, visit your favorite theater website and join the frequent movie goer club to get discounted ticket packages.
Research Local Events and Festivals
Be proactive about finding free or cheap activities around your town. They won’t always be promoted well, but with a little effort, you can find some great events to participate in this summer. Lots of towns host events such as outdoor movie nights, museum days, library events, street fairs, and music or food festivals. Keep an eye out for these, and grab a friend for some extra fun!
Save on Sports
Game on! Summer is the season of sports, but the cost of equipment can get expensive. Before emptying your pockets, try:
- Buying from consignment stores. Save by purchasing lightly-used items at secondhand stores that specialize in sporting goods. You can also trade in or consign your own outgrown or unneeded gear to earn some extra cash.
- Borrowing from friends or family members. The people you know may have some of the equipment you need in storage. Find out if anyone has what you’re looking for before buying. They may even be interested in joining you.
- Online retailers are a great place to look for new and used sporting equipment, gear and attire. You’ll find a wide selection, and can easily compare prices and review customer ratings and reviews.
- Hold off on buying until the end of the season. Shop the clearance section at your favorite sporting goods retailer during end-of-season sales. When the baseball season ends, for example, retailers will typically try to clear out baseball products to make more room for next season’s sports gear.
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