Posts contain affiliate links, see disclosure for more details.
It’s summer time! The season of barbeques, beach trips, school holidays, sunshine…and spending.
Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but it does seem to be a time when our wallets start to feel the pinch a bit. With day trips, socialising, holidays and visits, endless ice creams for the kids and so on, it can start to feel like your hand is always in your pocket!
But there are loads of simple ways to save some pennies while still enjoying the sunshine, so here are a few tips to stay savvy with your spending this summer.
Set a budget
It sounds simple, but loads of people hate the idea of budgeting. It doesn’t have to be a big job, just sitting down and working out a simple budget for your summer activities can help you keep your finances on track.
If you’re not good with numbers or spreadsheets there are loads of apps that can help you with putting your budget together.
Just having this in place and being able to look at when planning activities can be a good way to keep on top of your spending.
Have some frugal fun
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to have fun in the sun. Keep an eye out for free events and activities in your local area. These might be put on by local libraries, museums, churches, perhaps your local community is having a summer fete?
Nature walks and picnics are another great way to enjoy quality time with friends and family and are also free or cheap!
Do you have any memberships, such as National Trust, the zoo, English heritage etc? Make the most of these as you’ve already paid so you may as well get the most out of them and enjoy days out knowing you won’t have to pay.
If you love eating out or visiting attractions you could try using a tastecard to help you save money. With tastecard you can get 2 for 1 offers for eating out at loads of your favourite restaurants and takeaways plus discounted cinema tickets, coffee and days out for less.
There are loads of deals available and you can search by your local area and see what savings you can make.
For me, I can look at Chester eating out deals and hello, I can save at not only national chains but local bars and restaurants too – including Palm, who do amazing cocktails by the way.
Here’s one of mine from the other night (excuse the bad photo, it’s VERY pink in there, but look, it has candlyfloss!)
A 30 day trial of tastecard is just £1, or you can opt for a monthly or yearly membership.
Have a bring your own BBQ
Who doesn’t love a BBQ when the sun’s shining? Save money by getting together with friends and family and asking people to each bring a different food or drink. This way everyone has a variety of things to eat and drink but the cost is shared so less burden on the host.
You could even rotate the hosting and have a few of these low-cost get togethers over the summer – a great way to be sociable without breaking the bank.
Try a staycation
Staycations are a great way to save money, time and stress while still enjoying a break from everyday life.
Staycation has become a broad term that can mean anything from staying in your own home and town, to choosing to holiday anywhere in the UK rather than going abroad.
You could take some time out to explore your local area and attractions, try a house swap with another family in a different area or even go camping or caravanning.
These are all great ways to save money while enjoying your time off.
Be a savvy shopper
Whatever you’re choosing to spend your money on, it’s always worth making sure you’re savvy when you shop.
These means things like
- Comparing prices: checking other stores to make sure you get the best price
- Using promocodes: tools like Honey can help you check for online discounts in seconds
- Getting cashback: Shopping through cashback sites like Quidco and Topcashback can get you money back on your spending, so it’s always worth checking before you buy.
Save money on your holiday
If you are wanting to travel and take a holiday abroad or in the UK, try these tips to keep costs down:
Be flexible: You might have a specific location in mind, but broadening your search even just a little can result in much lower prices.
Book direct: Hotels often offer a lowest price guarantee if you book directly with them, but even if you can’t see a cheaper rate on their website it’s worth calling up as they may be able to offer you a better price over the phone.
Book early: The early bird catches the worm so they say and this is true for holidays too. You’ll find the prices creeping up as it gets closer to your departure date, so getting in early is a good way to bag the cheapest deals.
Book last minute: This is a riskier strategy as although sometimes you can grab a great last minute saving, you might not find any space left, so there’s no guarantee you’ll actually find the holiday you want available.
Compare prices: It’s always worth checking multiple suppliers and comparison sites to try and find the best deals out there.
And there you have it! Seven savvy, budget-friendly strategies to help you enjoy a fantastic summer without leaving a huge dent in your savings or slipping into debt.