Looking for a great way to have fun this summer, but can’t afford an expensive trip to Walt Disney World this summer?
Or maybe you just want to save money and go the staycation route this year?
Either way, you can still save money on summer fun without spending a lot of money. Which is important, especially if you have children and a significant other to have fun with.
No need to spend thousands of dollars when you can use that money to pay down debt or throw money towards savings.
Plus, who says you have to spend a lot of money just to have fun over the summer? Not me.
If you haven’t already, check out my post Cheap or Free Things to Do this Summer.
Here are a few tips on how to save money this summer and still have fun.
How to Have a Fun Summer on a Budget
Research events in and outside of your city.
You’ll be amazed at all of the events going on each weekend during the summer. Some events may give discounts on certain days or at certain times. The Baltimore Aquarium, for example, gives 40% off of admission some nights after 5 PM.
Go with friends and split the cost.
It’s always fun to go out with someone else, but sometimes you can find 2 for 1 deals which will help you to save more. You can also share transportation costs, considering some ride-sharing companies allow passengers to split the fare.
Look for reward points you may have already accumulated and use them up.
I participate in programs such as Plenti and Ebates, which allow me to earn points I can apply to gas purchases and gift cards. If you’re looking for a rewards program go here for some others I use. You may find that your credit card also offers programs as well.
Check for deals and discounts.
I can’t think of any business that doesn’t entice new customers to visit them dangling a carrot in front of them, like a coupon or discount Groupon and LivingSocial tend to have discounts for local restaurants and retailers.
You may find some great last minute deals if you’re flexible. One 4th of July, my boyfriend and I found a very nice hotel for less than $80 a night! That was practically half-off of their regular rate. Book your vacation through Agoda for savings.
Make use of your affiliations.
Being a member of associations such as AAA, AARP, and the like often have their benefits. You can find companies providing discounts on meals, travel, and hotel if you’re a member.
You may also want to check to see if your employer has any affiliations that will afford you additional discounts. My government employed family members usually enjoy nice discounts on hotel stays at participating retailers.
Go on a full stomach.
Eating before you leave will help you to resist spending $15 on a cheeseburger. If you’re trying to save money, then eating at home or at a cheap place before going out will help tremendously.
Bring a bag lunch, because there’s a good chance you’ll get hungry later. If you’re visiting places such as a museum, bring your own food, because often times they hike up the prices for food and gift store purchases.
Get to the Beach.
No summer is complete without a visit to the beach. So pack up your swimsuit, towel, and flip-flops and head out to your favorite beach. My family is a thousand miles apart, but we usually meet half-way in Myrtle Beach every other year. Check out these affordable beach towns…
…and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Use public transportation when at all possible.
Many free places are located in metropolitan places where parking can be nonexistent or very limited. Parking garages make a lot of money during the summer from tourists especially.
The parking at the zoo in my area is $22!
You can ride the metro round trip for less than $6 – which is a steal.
I’m a true believer in spending money on experiences than things. You can have fun out there and enjoy your summer without breaking the bank if you’re creative. It’s all about what you make out of it and who you spend it with.
Other Ways to Have Budget-Friendly Fun this Summer
- Go to a music festival
- Do a walking tour of your city
- Take a road trip
- Visit the beach
- Attend a parade
- Go to the library
- Have a picnic
- Go volunteer
- Go to the Farmer’s Market
- Go to a carnival
- Go swimming at the local pool
- Have a barbecue
- Invite friends over for a potluck
- Go fishing
- Hang out with your pet
- Go to an open mic night
- Attend a book reading
- Go for a hike
- Go camping
- Check the community calendar for free events
- Go see the firework shows
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Set up a movie theater in your backyard
- Take a free outdoor fitness class
- Fly a kite
Related: Fun and Cheap Date Night Ideas