Ideas to have fun this summer without breaking the bank
We all know that the sun might not shine that often, so it’s important to make the most of it when it does (or even when it doesn’t)!
It has been reported[i], 57% of British people spend around £154 more a month over the summer. With this in mind, how can you keep your spending on summer fun to a minimum, but still enjoy yourself? We’re here to help, whether you’re looking to entertain the kids over the school holidays, for some quality couple time, or just take a break from the daily grind and do something different.
Fun in the sun
Sunny days are the easiest. There are so many free options. You can spend time outdoors and enjoy the great British countryside without spending a penny! Want to stay local? Take a picnic to the park. Fancy going further afield? How about a drive to a national park to enjoy the views? Craving the coast? There’s always a trip to the seaside, even if it is a little brisk!
If you prefer hustle and bustle, you could discover a new city - do some window shopping, go to a market, or simply be a tourist and take some photographs. You might even discover a new interest at the same time!
Whatever you do, planning ahead and taking your own food and drinks can help you to make significant savings on refreshments while you’re out and about.
If you have children, a paddling pool in the garden is usually a winner on a hot day to occupy them, or how about getting them to be creative by building a den or having a garden treasure hunt. Want them to have some new experiences? You can often find free activities for kids like visiting local farms, or free festivals and carnivals (suitable for all age groups). Your local council website will have more details of what’s on in your area.
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
It’s a bit tricky when it’s raining to save money, and the average British summer usually has a good helping of rainy days. 2017 saw 320mm of rainfall over the summer, so it’s a good idea to have some contingency in place. But never fear, there’s a multitude of things you can do with a little thought and imagination.
Looking for some culture? There are many free indoor activities such as museums or galleries. And local libraries are still a brilliant resource. Or what about getting down to your local leisure centre, or finding out if you can get a free one day pass at the gym? Staying in with children? A little planning goes a long way to keep them entertained with activities such as baking or painting.
If all else fails, don’t let the rain put you off! Invest in some decent waterproofs that will last you many years and you can still get outside, even if the weather is inclement!
Save money by eating in (outside!)
Everyone loves a warm balmy evening - perfect weather for a Barbeque. It’s a great opportunity to socialise and save money at the same time, especially if you invite friends and ask them to bring a course.
When you’ve finished eating, why not try something different? You could watch the sun set and then gaze at the stars - see if you can name some of them. For a little help, try the free ‘Night Sky’ app. You could even follow it up with camping in the garden, which is also a great adventure if you have kids, and even if you don’t!
A low-cost change of scenery
If you’re after more than just a days’ break, you might want to consider whether you have family or friends you can stay with to keep accommodation costs down. This has the added benefit of being reciprocal - they can have a break with you next time. Alternatively, Air BnB can offer interesting accommodation at a much lower cost than staying at a hotel. Camping is also cheap and can be a lovely break away from it all. Just remember to take as much food with you as you can as it could be costly to purchase while you’re there.
Freebies and Discounts
If you know where to look, there’s a lot you can do without spending a penny, or at the very least, get a discount on paid for activities. Service providers sometimes offer extras for purchasing their products (e.g. free cinema tickets for buying insurance, or exclusive offers and tickets from mobile phone providers like O2 Rewards), and 2 for 1 deals can often be found for theme parks, exhibitions or restaurants. You can also sign up to discount sites such as Groupon and Wowcher - wait until you see something that appeals to you and then go for it.
Don’t forget, it pays to plan ahead. Often buying tickets for attractions or activities online in advance is cheaper than doing it on the day. You can also bag Early Bird discounts if you book far enough ahead.
Reap the benefits of your efforts
Now that you’ve made all these great summer savings, it’s time to think about what to do with the money you’ve saved. Why not open a savings account, and make your money work harder for you? You could even use it to help pay for your next holiday.