Are you already spending too much money on vacations, movies, and entertainment this summer? It’s not too late to get your budget back on track. Here are some money-saving tips for summer fun.
Find out How Much You Are Spending
First of all, to save this summer, you need to figure out how much you can actually spend on summer activities. That means you’ll want to sit down and make find out how much you spend compared to how much you earn. Look at your bank statements, receipts and financial files over the last 6 months. Add up everything you spent for the last 6 months and divide by 6. This will give you your average monthly expenses. Subtract that amount from your monthly income. If you’re making more money than you’re spending, that’s great! Now, you can determine what portion of that extra money will go toward summer fun.
Spend Less on Sports Equipment
If you want to buy equipment so you can participate in outdoor sports like softball, golf, surfing, rock climbing, tennis, or another sport, try:
Asking friends or family members
The people you know may have some of the equipment you need in storage. Find out if anyone has what you’re looking for before buying. You may be able to borrow the equipment or they’ll give it to you. They may even be interested in joining you and you and you’ll be able to share. You and a friend could both use the same set of golf clubs, for example.
Buying from consignment stores
Save by purchasing lightly-used items at secondhand stores that specialize in sporting goods. Play It Again Sports is a popular chain that advertises 20 to 60 percent off retail prices. You can also trade in or consign your own outgrown or unneeded gear to earn some extra cash.
Online retailers and “For Sale” sites are a great place to look for new and used sporting equipment, gear, and attire. You’ll find more variety and selection and can easily compare prices and review customer ratings and reviews.
Watching for end-of-season sales. Shop the clearance section at your favorite sporting goods retailer during end-of-season sales. When the baseball season ends, for example, retailers will typically try to clear out baseball products to make more room for sports gear that is in season.
Look for Discounted Tickets
Looking to see the latest big film in the theater? Go to the matinee or very first showing to save on the ticket cost. If you plan to go to the movies often this summer, visit your favorite theater website and join the frequent movie goer club to get discounted ticket packages. Never buy tickets to amusement parks at the park entrance. You can save on ticket prices by signing up for the theme park newsletters online. Often, they will send you an email with discounted ticket codes or early-bird specials. Supermarkets and discount bulk stores often sell tickets to local amusement parks at a discount.
Leave Your Car in the Garage
Summer is the perfect time to walk, bike, or carpool to places. You’ll get more exercise and you’ll enjoy the beautiful weather a lot more while saving money on gas.
Attend Free Events, Fairs, and Festivals
Be proactive about finding free activities around your town. They won’t always be promoted well, but with a little effort, you can find some great events. Some of the free activities you might discover include: outdoor movie nights, museum days, library events, street fairs, and music or food festivals.
If you are looking to get away for a bit, read our article on how to save money during summer travel for some helpful tips.
Consider Local Outdoor Adventures
Camping, hiking, and picnicking are all great ways to keep costs low while still having a blast with your family. You don’t have to take a costly family vacation to Disney World this summer to get away. Check your official city website to find local parks, trails, and campgrounds in your area that you may not have been to for an all-new adventure. The National Park Service also makes finding sports a snap on their website.