It seems like there are many more spontaneous opportunities to spend money in the warmer months, like stopping at that pricey coffee shop during a walk. Spontaneous splurges can also be the result of a less pleasant and completely unavoidable experience, like car troubles on your way to a camping trip.
I’ll admit that I’m pretty money conscious, but the same can’t be said for all my friends. In order to adopt a more relaxed attitude and enjoy the summer months, pre-planning is important. For instance, if you ramp up your savings plan during the winter to account for the boost in spending later on, you can avoid blowing the budget. The key is to save before you spend. If you want to have fun this summer but are worried of how it’ll affect your ability to save, set up an automatic savings plan to stay on the right track, but still take that mental vacation from money worries.
I think it’s possible to have a fun summer with family and friends, going on trips and enjoying lots of different activities while making wonderful summer memories. It is important to do what you can to avoid ending up with ‘summer memory regret’ when you overspend on the path to making your summer memorable.
Here are a few ideas to help you have fun while avoiding the fear of looking at your credit card bill:
- Stay Local: Spend an afternoon exploring a new neighbourhood or park, bring a snack with you or perhaps budget yourself $20 for the afternoon for you and a friend to have a cold summer drink or ice cream treat.
- Pack a Picnic: Instead of going out for dinner, grab a group of friends and have a ‘picnic potluck’ in someone’s backyard or at a local park. Ask everyone to bring a favourite summer dish (even put a dollar limit on it if you think that’s a good idea) and be creative! Enjoy spending time with friends, just as you would at a restaurant but this way share in the meal-making.
- Free Festivals or Events: Spend a bit of time researching free festivals or events going on in your city. You can then make a morning, day or afternoon out of it and maybe experience something new at the same time.
- Get Active: Do you have a Frisbee? Soccer ball? Bocce ball or croquet set? Badminton or volleyball set? Maybe you know someone who does? Grab one or a few of your favourites, grab some family or friends, head to a green space in the city and have a different evening out of sorts – one where you get active and your wallet doesn’t feel the pinch.
- Road Trip: Summertime can be a wonderful time to travel but it can also be expensive. If you’ve got the travel bug, research instead closer day or multi-day trips that you could drive to (instead of flying) for example. Or, you can always do some serious saving to have the trip of a life time that is on your bucket list.
The bottom line is that you can have a great summer without being worried about paying the price all autumn. Know what you want to do, and plan to make it happen.