Is it possible to have a fun summer on a budget? This is a question I found myself considering recently.
Even though I know spending money and having fun aren’t mutually exclusive concepts, dropping a large chunk of change over the last few months on vacation related expenses was enough to make me question whether or not I really believe it.
So I sat with the question for a while. I considered what’s on the docket for this summer, sorting activities based on their cost.
And even though it’s been an expensive few weeks, I was pleased to find most of my summer plans are either affordable — or completely free!
It’s entirely possible to have a fun summer and stick to your budget. With the first day of summer only four days a way, here are my tips for how to enjoy your summer without breaking the bank.
How to have a totally awesome summer on a budget
Summer doesn’t need to be a budget-buster! Here are four super simple tips for how to have a totally awesome summer on a budget.
What’s on your summer schedule? Do you have a wedding or a family event to attend? Maybe there’s a concert you want to go to or a camp program you think your kids might love?
You don’t need to have every single detail figured out, but being able to identify potential budget pressures early can make a big difference when it comes to your budget.
For example, I visit my best friend in Ontario almost every summer. Although I don’t pick my dates until later in the spring, I start saving for it in the winter so I have money ready when I find a good seat sale.
Having an idea of what you might want to spend on during the summer makes it easier to either save up or plan for how to make it work in your budget.
Be selective with your spending
Maybe you’re thinking of taking in a major league baseball game or renting a cottage on the lake for the weekend. There’s nothing wrong with having expensive items on your summer bucket list, but if you want to stick to your budget, being selective about the ones you’ll partake in is important.
This year, we have two expensive activities planned. In July, we are spending a weekend at a cabin in the woods and in August, I’m seeing the Jonas Brothers in Ontario. Both of these activities are pricey but they were chosen intentionally and I’m really excited about them!
Find free/cheap fun
Having fun and spending a lot of money don’t have to go together! There are so many opportunities for free or cheap fun that make it easy to enjoy summer on a budget!
Some of the free/cheap things on my summer to do list including swimming at the lake, going for walks outside, enjoying BBQs with friends, reading and, of course, writing.
This is honestly applicable for any season.
Don’t spend your whole summer stressed about your budget.
I’m not suggesting spending with reckless abandon for the next couple months — that would be terrible advice.
But if you do slip up? Don’t get too hung up about it. Identify the problem, take a breath…then let it go. Summer is too short to spend the whole time stressed out about money.
Summer on a budget doesn’t have to be boring.
By planning ahead, being selective with the activities you choose to spend on and searching out free and cheap things to do, you can have a ton of fun without spending a lot of money.
And if you do find yourself over budget? It happens. The important thing is to learn from it — and to not let it get you down.
What’s your favourite free or cheap summer activity? Any tips for enjoying summer on a budget?