Do More and Spend Less This Summer
Summertime means an increase in activities for you and the whole family! While most people assume that more activities equals more money, the summertime is actually the perfect time to decrease spending. This summer, instead of indulging on expensive trips and activities for you and your family, check out our advice on how to spend less and still get the most out of summer!
Enjoy the Outdoors
Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the outdoors! After this winter’s crazy weather now is the perfect time to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Go for hikes, hang out on the porch, read a book outside, have a picnic at your local park; the possibilities are pretty much endless! Summer means beach weather! Check your local beaches to see if there is an admittance fee before you go. Some places might have discounts that you and your family can capitalize on!
Capitalize on Free Community Events
Summertime is also peak time for free community events. Keep an eye out in your local paper or check out your local library for upcoming free events. Summertime means plenty of free concerts, plays, lectures, and outdoor movies. If your town seems to be lacking in free activities, check surrounding towns and nearby cities for events that you and your family might enjoy.
Borrow from Your Local Library
While you are checking out your local library for upcoming events, be sure to utilize everything the library has to offer! Libraries are an excellent free resource that often go unnoticed. This summer instead of buying books, movies, or music, borrow them from the library! If you have a particular title in mind and your library does not own it, most libraries can order it for you from a different library or buy it for their own collection. If you are planning a movie night for your kids or you and your friends, your library can be a great resource for all movies. Some libraries even let your borrow technology. Make more movie night even cooler by renting out a projector and doing an outdoor movie night!
Simplify and Streamline
One great way to reduce spending is by adopting the lifestyle of living frugally. Start by decluttering your home and paring back to only the essentials. Gather all the excess stuff throughout your house and throw a tag sale. Summertime is the perfect time to have a tag sale! With everyone out and about, you get a lot more traffic for tag sales during the summer than any other time of the year. If you do not have enough stuff to sell, try gathering your neighbors together and organize a larger tag sale for the whole street!
Make Your Own
Another great way to reduce costs this summer is to try to make and grow your own food. My family and I have a large vegetable garden that provides us with all of our fresh produce for a majority of the year. Even if you cannot grow vegetables on a large scale, a small container garden of herbs and vegetables can really go a long way. If you don’t really have a green thumb, try making your own bread and jams, even if it saves just a few dollars per shopping trip, it is a fun craft to try and hey, you might even make it a new hobby.
Use What You Have and Swap For What You Don’t
When most people try to reduce spending, they aim to go a whole month without buying. While some people possess the discipline to handle such an enormous task, smaller changes to reduce spending overall can help too. Instead of not spending at all this summer, which is pretty much impossible, try implementing the policy of using what you have before buying new. Before your go food shopping, try to make something out what you have in your pantry. Aim to only pick up necessary fresh ingredients. Try to repurpose or reuse older items throughout your house. For example, use an old t-shirt as a cleaning rag or reuse old food containers as flower pots. Once you start using up what you have you will begin to truly appreciate all that you own. If you find yourself needing something that you don’t have, see if you can swap will a neighbor before you run to the store! If you need a tool for a project? Ask your neighbor to borrow theirs! If you have a vegetable garden at your home, talk with a neighbor or friend about trading some of your harvest for their fresh flowers to decorate your home this season. This is an easy way to reduce spending and get to know your neighbors!
Have A Party!
Reducing spending, does not mean you can’t entertain your family and friends! When hosting this summer, instead of providing the entire meal, provide just the main dish and then ask your guests to bring a side dish or drink. This reduces costs for everyone and still allows you to enjoy everyone’s company.
If you plan on reducing spending this summer try staying motivated by asking friends and family for advice on how they cut their spending. Check out a book from your local library or read articles on living frugally. Track your spending from week to week and see if you can beat your own record or have a friend do it with you so you can share tips! And don’t forget to start enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Finding a good book, listening to your favorite music, having a bonfire with your family, or even having a friend over for coffee is a great way to enjoy the summer at no cost to you!