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‘Summertime, and the living is easy...’ are the words of DuBose Heyward, he wrote the lyrics and George Gershwin wrote the music for the famous song from the opera Porgy and Bess in 1935. The song has been performed all around the world by thousands of musicians. Summertime can indeed be a wonderful time; better weather brings more opportunities to have fun, more day trips and other leisure activities either close to home or whilst on holiday (vacation). All of this having fun and leisure time can put household budgets under enormous pressure and it is no surprise that so many budgets fall by the wayside during the summer months. It does not have to be this way, below I have listed 5 budget friendly ways to keep yourself on track financially during the summer months.
Stick to Your Financial Goals During Summer
Time that you take off work for a holiday and your children’s summer holidays from school are predictable events; you know that they are going to happen so you can plan for them and prepare. Ensure that you save for your cost of your holiday and spending money months in advance. Your holiday savings can form part of the 20 % that I wrote about in this post, How Much Should You Save? In taking this approach, you will minimise the financial impact of your holiday. Don’t forget to save for the additional day trips and activities that you will also do at home too. The summer is longer than your holiday in most cases.
Booking in Advance
In nearly all instances, booking in advance will enable you to access discounts and special offers that will enable you to keep costs as low as possible. Contrast that with trying to book hotels, flights and activities at peak time when the costs will be much higher. Make your money go further by booking earlier.
Take Picnics Rather than Relying on Restaurants
Buy yourself a picnic basket like this one, and then get in to the habit of making food for your family the night before day trips. This is a great way of keeping a lid on expenditure; it also means that you will be able to eat exactly when you want rather than having to wait for space to become available at a restaurant or cafe. Queuing for a popular restaurant is not fun, you will be able to avoid that entirely.
Filling up Your Tank
If you are going to visit a major attraction such as a theme park, fill up your car at a local petrol station rather than one on the motorway. Motorway service stations are always much more expensive than filling up at your local supermarket petrol station.
Cash Budgeting at Theme Parks and Funfairs
Theme parks or funfairs often have lots of different rides or attractions for you and your family to choose from, If all rides are included in the admission price feel free to experience as many as you can fit it during the time that you have available. However, some places that you visit will have individual costs for each ride; in this instance its very easy to spend a lot of money very quickly. The best approach is to set a mini budget for your children or yourself, you could allow them to choose 3 or 4 rides for example.
By following these tips, you’ll find that you are aren’t having any less fun than if you hadn’t applied the brakes to your expenditure. The difference is that this time you will not have any guilt as a result of overspending. It just takes a little thought and preparation but is totally achievable.
How do you prepare financially for the summer months? What steps have you taken to stick to your budget during summertime? Please let me know in the comments section below.
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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only. This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.