Plan for a Budget-Friendly Summer


Summer may be the most chill time of year for many, but it can also get super-expensive.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. With a bit of planning and self-restraint, you can have the summer of a lifetime and your budget, too. 

Here are six ways to plan for a budget-friendly summer.

1. Adjust your budget

Summer can mean lots of changing expenses. There are extra activities you’ll need to spring for, a family getaway you may need to cover, higher fuel costs and utility bills that have you seriously considering going off the grid. On the flip side, some of your monthly expenses, such as your gas bill, may be lower in the summer. To account for these changes, take some time to adjust your monthly budget so it lines up with your summer expenses. 

2. Choose free or cheap activities

When planning an itinerary for a summer getaway, or even just for a weekend, focus on free or low-cost activities. For example, if you’re an outdoorsy type, you can find a beautiful park or hiking trail to visit. Many beaches are free to visit, and if you pack some books and lots of sunscreen, you can spend all day there. If you’d prefer the temperature-controlled indoors, look up free or low-cost museums near your home, or free factory tours.  

3. Always look for a coupon

When your plans include a paid attraction, be sure to look for online discounts and coupons before paying the admission price. You may be able to find discounts on sites like Groupon or by using tools like Honey. Why pay full price if you don’t have to?

4. Try a financial-fast weekend

If you find that you’ve gone way over budget by mid-season, help your finances recover by cutting out your spending for a full weekend. Plan ahead to make sure the house is fully stocked and spend the time with your family while playing board games, watching your favorite movies and tackling neglected chores. You can also take day trips, as long as you only visit free attractions.

5. Time it right

Summer may be the most popular time of year to travel, but various locations can have their own peak travel times, which will impact price. Do some research before booking a vacation to find out which part of summer your destination is busiest. You can save a bundle by choosing to reserve a flight or hotel stay when they’re less busy. 

In a similar fashion, when visiting local attractions, look up their busiest times and see if they offer discounts during quieter times of the day or week. 

6. Make a vacation budget

If you’re planning a family vacation this summer, a romantic getaway or a solo trip, establish a vacation budget to help you keep costs in check. Just like you do for your monthly budget, you’ll assign a dollar amount for each expense category of your vacation, such as paying for your lodging, attractions, food costs, car rental and airline tickets, as applicable. Review and adjust your budget throughout the summer to ensure it’s still working for you. 

Summer is a time of looser schedules and lots of chill time, but that doesn’t mean your budget has to go on vacation. Follow these tips for a budget-friendly summer. 

« Return to "Blog"