With summer just around the corner, your diet isn’t the only thing that usually takes a nosedive—your budget does as well. For some reason, summer seems to be the season of spending. There’s vacations to take, parties to host, and late nights out enjoying the summer weather. Who wants to cook a meal in, when it would be so much nicer to enjoy a long happy hour out with friends?
I have fallen victim to many of these late nights that put a major dent in my wallet. I am determined to stick to my budget and not overspend this summer.
Vacation in September
This is especially for the ones without kids. You could save hundreds of dollars on vacations by waiting out the summer rush and taking a vacation in late September instead when kids are back in school and prices drastically drop.
If you absolutely want to get away at some point in the next few months, take advantage of local weekend getaways that won’t hurt your wallet. Go camping at a state national park, or visit family or friends in a different town and hopefully they’ll host you for free!
Host Happy Hour
It’s definitely fun to go to out to eat and imbibe with friends. But try hosting your own happy hour. You can often have enough drinks or wine for a slew of people for the same cost as two regular drinks at a bar.
Ask friends to bring their favorite summer wine, or mixed drink and then try them all out and see who’s is the favorite. Instead of a cookie party, it’s a drinking party!
Take advantage of the free summer concerts and festivals in your area. Visit other cities’ free events as well. Check your local paper for listings. Many cities host local bands and even some semi-popular ones as part of their summer line-up and community outreach.
Stick to the season
There are plenty of ways to save money at home too—not just on entertainment and dining out. Be sure to check out your local farmers’ market to see what fruit and vegetables are in season. Create a feast using the local produce.
As for air conditioning, if it’s not too stifling, try using a fan instead of blasting the air conditioning. I realize this may be easier in some parts of the country rather than others. Also, be wary of your energy consumption. Try and cut back as much as possible, even think about drying your clothes outside in the sun rather than using the dryer.
As with all things in life, the key to sticking to your budget is balance. Forgo the big ticket items, but take advantage of some small indulgences, such as ice cream outings, trips to the beach, hikes with the family and picnics in the park. There are lots of things to do that require little to no money, won’t put a dent in your wallet, and will still allow you to enjoy the summer without feeling deprived. All it takes is a little bit of extra planning.
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