Prices are going up everywhere, just as summer — and the extra expenses it often entails — is arriving. How can you save some cash this summer, so you can spend it on the really important things, like trips to the beach? Here are some summer savings strategies.
Make a Budget
This should always be your number one savings strategy. Make a budget for your summer spending and then stick to it.
- Look at what you’re spending now, and what you spent last summer.
- Look at where you can cut back, either on summer-specific expenses or year-round costs. Cancel any subscriptions you don’t use. See if you can find a cheaper vacation rental this year than you did last year.
- Write it all down, and revisit it weekly. All the planning in the world won’t help you save if you don’t hold yourself accountable. For example, if your budget for dining out is $200 and you spend $300 this month, you’ll need to keep it to $100 next month.
Save On Your Vacation
A summer vacation is a great stress-reliever, but that stress can pile up again when the bills come in. Here are a few ways to reduce the cost of your vacation.
- Choose a destination closer to home. If you can drive instead of flying, you’ll typically save, particularly for families. You only need one car, which can make it much cheaper than four or five plane tickets.
- If you do fly, watch the apps to determine the best time to travel. Mid-week flights, or those with a stopover or two, can often save you some cash.
- Go for a shorter period of time. If you typically go for two weeks, go for one. If one week is your norm, maybe just do a long weekend.
- Look for less expensive accommodations. Instead of a pricey hotel, look for an Airbnb or Vrbo, especially if you’re vacationing with a group.
- Prepare some of your meals yourself instead of eating out. This is another advantage of renting a condo or house instead of staying in a hotel — you’ll have a kitchen at your disposal.
- Seek out free and low-cost activities. Parks, beaches and hiking trails are often hidden gems at popular vacation destinations.
Be Aware of How Much You Drive
Gas prices typically rise in the summer, and this is truer this summer more than ever. We tend to take driving for granted, but you can see some real savings just by paying attention. If you have several stops to make, make them all in a single trip. And there’s never any reason to make a separate trip to get gas — wait until you’re going out in the car anyway.
Watch for Summer Sales
Seasonal sales happen earlier and earlier, so you can often find summer items discounted as early as June. The longer you wait, the deeper the discounts, if you don’t mind having a more limited selection to choose from. Remember, those shorts you buy in August can be worn next year, too.
Some states offer a weekend near the end of the summer during which they suspend the state sales tax. Postponing purchases until your state’s sales tax holiday can save you several percent, which can be significant if your purchase is large. Appliances, furniture and other pricey household goods can be a bargain and some stores will discount even further that weekend to try to win your business.
Save on Groceries
Summer is the season of fresh produce, so take advantage! If you can buy local produce at a farmer’s market or directly from the farm, even better. A community-supported agriculture, or CSA, subscription program can keep you in delicious, local, affordable produce all summer long.
Pause That Gym Membership
Summer weather in many parts of the country means that you can work out outside. If this applies to you, see if you can pause or cancel your gym membership and run, walk or swim in the great outdoors instead. When cooler days and earlier sunsets make outdoor workouts less doable, you can always go back to the gym.
Join Forces With Like-Minded Friends and Neighbors
Everyone is trying to save a little these days, so don’t be afraid to approach your friends and neighbors with money-saving ideas. Host a potluck dinner instead of going out to an expensive restaurant with friends. Switch off babysitting duties with neighbors so each couple can have a date night without having to pay for a sitter.
Make Some Extra Cash
Saving money will only get you so far. If you need more cash to make your summer plans a reality, think about ways to make some extra bank. A side gig, like rideshare driving, babysitting or an errand-running service can help. You could also have a yard sale or consign some clothes you no longer wear — the added bonus here is that you declutter at the same time.
Information is accurate as of May 24, 2022.