It might not feel like it, but summer isn’t that far away. Considering everything going on with COVID, it’s more important than ever that we plan for summer fun. Chances are it won’t include crowded beaches, nightclubs, and teeming restaurants.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean summer needs to be boring. We can probably attend fun events, drink on patios, and travel to a beach or cottage within our country. However, it is likely that Canadian summer fun will cost us more than in the past. Prices have risen and there are many more precautionary requirements, which sometimes cost money.
The good news is, you can start saving now. No matter what the world throws at you, you can have the funds you need to enjoy whatever’s available to enjoy this summer. Here are just a few ways you can save for the not to distant future.
In preparation for summer
Need new patio furniture? Garden tools? A summer wardrobe? No matter what expenses a new season brings, you can buy used. Even though you may think there’s no way you could do this, it’s important to realize that used doesn’t mean disgusting, outdated, or worn out. Many people buy items and don’t like them or circumstances change and they don’t need them. This can lead to huge savings. Buying used is good for the environment too. Fewer items are made and fewer end up in the landfill.
Before you jump into buying something new, do your research. Buy and sell groups on Facebook or online forums like Kijiji and Craigslist often have great deals. Just practice social distancing when you meet the person and don’t pay in advance.
Invest in quality
The summer is something everyone looks forward to. We’ve been waiting all winter for this! The longer days, the sunshine, the warmer weather. It can feel so good!
However, buying new items every year won’t save you money. If you need patio furniture, buy good quality patio furniture, and take care of it so it lasts years. Even though investing in more expensive items upfront can feel like an unnecessary expense, you’ll save in the long-term.
A great way to save money anytime of year is to meal plan. Planning meals in advance can help you eliminate food waste and put more money in your pocket. Create lists before heading to the grocery store. Make these lists around the meals you’d like to make for the week.
Each week, make note of the things that you didn’t use before they go bad, so you can ensure you don’t buy them again. This is one of the biggest areas in your life you can be saving money. Plus, it can help you stay healthy.
Ditch or pause expenses
We are home less in summer, so why are we paying so much for cable, movie subscriptions, and large internet packages? Take a look at all your subscriptions and expenses. Can you cut them for the summer months? Alternatively, look at what other options are available. Maybe you can lower your packages for the summer so you are paying less.
Budget and plan
If you want to take a vacation in the summer months, start thinking about it now. This way you can look for deals, and most importantly, save the money you need so you can have a great vacay without clearing out your bank account.
Maybe you want to save your tax return so you don’t have to dig into your current savings at all. Maybe you want to keep your end-of-year bonus for a summer vacation. By thinking of these things in advance, you won’t be scrambling for money when you want to have summer fun.
Set up a separate savings account
Leading up to summer, you may find it helpful to set up a separate savings account. Keeping things separate can often help you save more. Why? Because you aren’t reaching into this account for daily expenses. You can also set up auto transfers to go from one account to the other every pay day. You’ll get used to living without this money and your savings account will build quickly!
Once summer begins
It’s not all about saving money before summer begins. You don’t want to blow all your money during summer either and leave yourself broke for the rest of the year. There are so many great tips you can follow to have a great summer while also not breaking the bank.
Scope out free events and activities
Summer is about getting outside and enjoying the weather. There are always so many fun events and activities to take part in. The good news is, we often forget that not all activities and fun needs to cost money.
You’ll find more free outdoor events, markets, and activities than ever during the pandemic. Check out your options, and remember having fun is about being with the right people. It’s not about spending a bundle on tickets and events.
This summer we may not have the option to travel outside of our country, let alone our province. Take advantage of local travel, explore, and have adventures, without spending as much as on a cross-border vacation. Besides that, you’ll help out the local economy which is crying out for your tourist dollars after so many months in lockdown.
Here are some great tips for planning the perfect staycation.
Turn off the air conditioning
Okay, you don’t want to die of heat in your house. But when you aren’t home, consider turning down or off your AC to save on your hydro bill. Alternatively, if you know the night is going to be cool, turn off the air, and open the window. You can also open windows on opposite sides of your home and set up a fan to exhaust hot air out one window. This is a great tip if you don’t have AC, but it also cuts down on AC costs.
Speaking of AC, cooking indoors can overheat your house or apartment quickly. In turn, you’ll turn up that AC. Instead, cook outside on the BBQ. Not only will it be nice to be in the fresh air, but BBQ tastes great.
Let your laundry dry outside
Another way to cut costs on your electricity bill is to let your laundry dry outside. The weather is beautiful and sunny, why pay to use a dryer? Besides, nothing smells better than fresh, air-dried clothes.
Cut back on transit costs
The weather is nice, so you no longer need to use your car or transit. Instead, walk or ride your bike. This can be a fun way to do errands. You’ll get outside, enjoy fresh air, and improve your fitness level. Plus, who wants to be crammed on a stuffy local bus or subway in the heat? This can significantly cut your transportation costs so you can save more for fun summer activities.
Plant a garden
This can be such a fun activity for the whole family and a great way to cut back on food costs. Plant fruits and vegetables in your garden this summer. It’s great to get outside, plus, you will eat healthier. There’s nothing more rewarding than growing your own food and you’ll save money on your grocery bill.
Invite family and friends over
This may be our only option during the pandemic. Invite a few friends or family over for a small dinner party, a themed backyard party, or intimate barbeque. They’re all great options to stay safe and have fun during the warm weather.
Living in a country with four seasons, we look forward to the few short months we get in the heat and sun. We’ve earned this after a long winter inside. However, a YOLO lifestyle in the summer could leave you broke for the remainder of the year. Afterall, there three other seasons you need to consider. Keep these tips in mind and you can save more and have fun this summer:
- Buy used
- Invest in good quality items
- Meal prep
- Look at the expenses you can ditch or pause for the summer
- Budget and plan
- Look at modern ways to borrow money if need be
- Set-up a separate savings account for your summer fun
- Scope out free events and activities in your city
- Travel local
- Turn off the air conditioner (or down)
- Cook outside
- Let your laundry dry outside versus in the dryer
- Cut back on transit or car costs by walking or riding your bike
- Grow your own food in a garden
- Get creative with fun activities your friends and family can enjoy at home
What are your tips?