While stores are already stocked up on school supplies, summer isn’t quite over yet! Many parts of the country are still experiencing warm weather, meaning you can expect activities like pool parties, weddings, and vacations to continue. Make the most of the remaining summer by saving cash and budgeting without needing to sacrifice fun in the sun.
If you prefer shopping ahead of time, you are likely familiar with clearance sales and the bargains that can help you save substantially. Additionally, back-to-school sales are also hot, and you can find good deals even if you aren’t a student.
If you want to get a head start on next year’s summer shopping, the right time is quickly approaching. Once the temperatures drop, so will the demand for summer apparel such as swimsuits, sun hats, sandals, and lightweight clothing.
Other seasonal purchases include camping gear, backyard furniture, pool accessories, and certain sporting equipment.
If your favorite pair of flip-flops are falling apart, why not buy a new pair during a summer clearance sale? In fact, you might want to buy a backup pair if there is a BOGO deal or similar discount.
And if you have young children, you can expect them to outgrow their current wardrobe by the time next summer rolls around. You can shop for larger sizes now at lower prices and avoid paying full retail next year at the height of the season.
Depending on where you live, you may have to wait to wear your new summer purchases. But shopping now can help you score great deals and potentially save half of what you would have spent if you had waited.
It’s also important to note that most clearance items are marked as “final sale” meaning they are likely not eligible for refunds or returns.
Be sure to stay up to date on the latest discounts from your favorite retailers and online stores. Once you know when they roll out their seasonal clearance items, you should keep it in mind to stock up on those great deals year after year.
There’s a good chance you’re already receiving email announcements about back-to-school sales online and in stores. By doing some research, you can compare prices and find the best discounts for your child’s required supplies. For example, one particular store may be selling backpacks for under $20 while another is selling the same exact items for $20 more.
The best part about back-to-school sales is that you don’t have to be a student to save. If you work from home, you can also take advantage of the great deals as they often apply to items like printers and office furniture such as desks and chairs.
Whether you’re looking for a last-minute getaway or planning ahead for a big trip, you can still expect to save on travel costs now and in the coming months.
Take a Mini Vacation
If you haven’t traveled yet, it’s not too late. Remember that vacations don’t always consist of spending thousands on airline tickets and hotels. In fact, there is a good chance you can spontaneously plan a mini family (or solo) vacation nearby.
A frugal staycation is an excellent option if you’re looking for a last-minute trip requiring little to no travel. If you live near the ocean, for example, you can drive to a public beach and spend the day with friends or family. You can even save on food costs by packing a picnic blanket, food from home, and a cooler filled with refreshing drinks.
You can also explore the great outdoors by planning a camping trip for the weekend. All you need to pack are your camping materials and sufficient food and water. Remember that you don’t have to book a stay at a 5-star resort to relax and unwind. In fact, studies have shown that exposure to nature can lower stress levels, improve attention, and boost one’s mood.
This is an excellent opportunity to take a much-needed break from any responsibilities involving technology. Instead of checking work emails, you can become one with nature, take a long hike and sleep under the stars.
Plan Trips Early
Now is the perfect time to start planning for any major vacations in the near future. According to a recent survey from VacationRenter, this is one of the best ways to save on travel expenses. Researching your options ahead of time can help you compare prices and maybe even score some early bird deals.
Additionally, booking months in advance may be ideal if you are traveling with a large group and plan on staying in the same hotel. Keep in mind that certain destinations—particularly more remote or exclusive ones—may require reservations a year or so in advance.
So, if you have your sights set on a bucket list trip next summer, getting started now can help you create a solid travel plan while potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.
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Budgeting for Summer Events
Have you set a budget for summer spending? If not, it isn’t too late. Weddings, backyard parties, and vacations are all memorable events, but it can be easy to overspend when you are caught up in the moment.
If you have multiple events lined up, you may want to organize the budget based on priority. For example, purchasing items for your best friend’s wedding when you are a bridesmaid or groomsman is likely at the top of your list.
And if you must travel for the big day, you want to ensure any wardrobe, airline, and hotel costs stay within your budget. Be sure to also factor in the cost of food and any additional transportation services like cabs or Ubers.
Keep in mind that living frugally should not stop you from having a social life or doing the things you enjoy. If there is room in your budget and you’re celebrating a special occasion, consider throwing a budget-friendly pool party with a cheap (but delicious) cookout menu.
And yes, you can do this without breaking the bank. You would be surprised by how much you could save by keeping decorations to a minimum and cooking food at home instead of ordering delivery. If everyone brings a dish, you might only be responsible for the hamburgers and franks.
Summer is also the perfect time for outdoor music festivals and sporting events like baseball games. If you want to spend an evening at the ballpark with family or friends, you might find tickets at a lower price than expected. Coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial can often help you score discounted tickets to local events, so it’s important to stay up to date on their latest deals.
Enjoy a Summer of Savings
When creating your summer budget, be sure to leave enough room for savings and prioritize any debt; otherwise, you may dig yourself into a deeper hole. Take advantage of any seasonal discounts while you can and if you want to remain one step ahead, you can even begin planning your fall budget as well.