Summer is the best time of year for many of us who live for thee long days full of sunshine, pool time, and activities. However, summer can also be a time where overspending can run rampant and overtake your budget. Today I’m sharing some summer budgeting pitfalls and things you should consider including in your budget during the summer months.
There are so many summer specific expenses that it’s hard to remember them all!
Summer Expenses You Must Remember In Your Budget
Here are some of the common budget busting expenses you may need to include in your budget during the next few summer months:
- Sunscreen with SPF to wear when you are outside
- Sun protection clothing (really, protect your skin!)
- Lawn care services or diy lawn maintenance items
- Plants and plant maintenance items like fertilizer, dirt, water
- Higher air conditioning costs
- Vacations to a fun destination
- Extra gear or items needed for vacation
- Gas for driving to vacation destinations
- Atm fees on vacations in different destinations
- Higher gas prices each month for normal commuting
- Staycations in your hometown with special activities
- Water activities like splash park fees, daily pool passes, gym memberships
- Amusement park passes
- Barbecues with friends where you bring extra food and/or beer
- Summer birthday parties
- Bridal showers and gifts for the bride to be
- Wedding gifts and related expenses to attending the wedding
- Other wedding events like bachelor/ette parties
- Graduations and graduation gifts
- Farmers markets and Pick Your Own fruit outings
- Summer camps for kids
- Childcare or extra daycare for kids while you work
- New kid’s clothes for summer since they’ve grown
- New kid’s clothes for back to school
- Physicals if your kids play sports
- School supplies for starting school again
- Bug spray both for home and your body
- Parking fees for activities you attend
- Wardrobe updates if you need new summer clothes or bathing suits
- Holiday expenses for Father’s Day, July 4th, Labor Day, etc.
How to Stop Summer From Wrecking Your Budget
If you don’t want all the summer activities and extras to wreck your budget, then you’ll need to plan ahead. Including these common summer items in your budget will help as well as the following tips.
- Control your AC use. Keep your utility bill down during the summer when it can cost up to 40% of your bill. Clean or change the filter to make sure it is running efficiently and use ceiling fans in rooms to circulate air. Try using a temperature higher than you want so the air conditioning doesn’t run as constantly.
- Save money on birthday parties you must attend by asking for a range of gift ideas and then plan a less expensive option in the same theme. Wrap your gifts with gift wrapping from Walmart or the Dollar Tree or reuse bags you’ve received.
- Skip the vacation for a staycation. Vacations are more expensive than planning a fun staycation where you don’t have lodging or travel expenses. Look up fun activities you can do in your hometown or find projects to tackle during your off time.
- Enjoy time outside where it’s free! There are likely great state parks within driving distance from you and even if they charge a small entrance fee it’s each to bring a lunch and spend time outdoors on the cheap. If you don’t want to drive, check out your local neighborhood park!
- Attend free festivals in your city. Most cities and towns host festivals during the summer months. You can research free festivals to attend and then visit to check out local crafts, music, and more. There is usually plenty to look at and do (even if it’s people watching) for free at these festivals.
- Use your local library. Libraries are an amazing resource, especially during the summer. Many of them have special programming during the summer that can entertain your kids for free. Check to see when the local story time or art classes are. You can also check out books and DVDs to have free fun at home.
- Host a garage sale and declutter your home! Summer is the best time for garage sales and this activity doubles as something to do during the summer and also earns you some money to spend on other summer activities.
- Cook outside with heat to keep your house cool and lower your AC bill. Cooking outside is one of the most fun parts of summer and you can cook on a grill or in a fire pit!
- Grow a vegetable garden to help save on your grocery bill. For every dollar you spend on seeds you’ll received multiples in vegetables you can eat with your family. Gardening is also a wonderful summer hobby.
- Pack your own snacks for summer activities. Instead of buying food at the movies or water park, plan to eat before or bring your own snacks to save money. If you’re planning a summer road trip this will definitely create massive savings since convenience stores and gas stations have huge markups.
- Exercise outside and drop your gym membership. Instead of paying to workout in an air conditioned building, get outside and break a sweat! Summer is a great time to go swimming, ride bikes, or even just go on walks in nature.
- Book vacation hotels that include breakfast. This is an easy way to save money on your vacation. Instead of eating breakfast out at a fancy brunch spot, save the money by having it included in your hotel.
- Limit convenience foods you keep in the house during the summer when kids are home and mindless boredom eating can destroy your grocery budget. Keeping foods on hand that involve a bit of preparation can cut down on the amount everyone eats while at home.
Summer is a fun time and there are plenty of things to do on the cheap or for free. You don’t have to wreck your monthly budget during the summer to have a good time so remember to plan ahead and find ways to save money to keep your financial goals on track!