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Ahh, sweet summertime. The air is getting warmer, schools are out, and people are going on holiday. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the sun! Whether you’re planning on taking a big vacation abroad, backpacking locally, or staying around the house and finally taking on that big home improvement project you’ve been putting off, here are five excellent tips for saving and budgeting for all your summer activities.

Tip #1: Save separately for summer.
It’s not too late to start saving for whatever summer activity you have planned. Either talk to your bank to see if you can set up a separate savings account for summertime fun, or do it the old-fashioned way and designate a jar or container as your “Summer Fund,” and set aside something every week for your warm weather adventures. Putting money somewhere entirely separate from your normal savings account will help you better monitor your savings and keep you on track toward your summer savings goal.

Tip #2: Cut back on luxuries beforehand!
If you’re planning a big summer adventure, it might not hurt to cut back on your regularly scheduled “luxuries” beforehand! Pick a date to start being a bit more cost conscious, and then try the following:

– If you’re a regular coffee or tea drinker and go to coffee shops or cafes for your daily fix, brew some at home instead.
– Pack your lunch instead of going out to eat.
– Buy produce that is in season – it’s usually cheaper!
– Purchase generic-brand home products, like paper towels and dish soap.
– Try to cut back the number of times you eat out at restaurants.
– If you usually drive to work, take cost-effective public transportation or walk/bicycle if you work close enough to home.

Tip #3: Enjoy home-cooked meals.
If you regularly eat out or order take out, you can save a ton by preparing home-cooked meals more often. There are many easy and inexpensive recipes online or in cookbooks. An added bonus is that home-cooked meals are usually healthier!

Tip #4: Write everything down!
Sometimes, writing down every single detail of what you spend money on will help you focus on where you might be able to save. Try it for a week and see if you can make changes to your daily routine that can put more money in your pocket for summer. There are also many smart phone apps that can connect to your bank account for easier finance tracking!

Tip #5: Take advantage of summertime freebies.

Since the sun is out, there are lots of great free alternatives to indoor activities. Go on a hike or long walk instead of spending money on movie tickets. Jog or run at the park instead of buying another month of gym membership. Also, many free festivals occur during the summertime!

Summer should be a care-free time of relaxation and adventure. Use these tips to help you budget for all your summer bucket list activities and prevent overspending. If you’re looking for more tips on budgeting, getting out of debt, managing your money, or saving for your next big adventure, look no further – Credit Counselling Sudbury is here to help.