June 13, 2024

8 ways to keep summer spending fun and debt-free

With vacation trips, festivals, and all sorts of exciting activities, summer can be expensive. Here’s our tips for keeping costs down without missing out on any fun.

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8 ways to keep summer spending fun and debt-free

Man sitting in back of a car with dog looking at sunset

Summer has a way of lifting our spirits and prompting spur-of-the-moment experiences. Depending on what you’re doing or where you’re going, it can quickly become very expensive. 

The good news is that you can embrace that positive energy and spontaneity while remaining true to your financial goals. Enjoying life while still living within your means is all about finding the right balance. 

Here are some great money-management strategies to keep in mind during the summer months. 

1. Continue to be mindful of your budget 

Just because it is summer doesn’t mean that all your budgeting can go out the window. If anything, it’s a time when more attention needs to be paid to your budget. 

Often, you may have a budget that keeps you on track weekly or monthly, but during the summer, you may need to budget for specific events and activities. 

Whether it's a road trip, a family camping trip, or hosting a big backyard BBQ, setting aside a separate budget for these activities will help you stay organized and in control of your spending. 

Remember, a well-planned budget is the key to enjoying your summer without accumulating unnecessary debt.

2. Find low-cost activities

Finding low-cost activities can be a game changer in the summer. Whether you’re at home, on a road trip, or even on an adventure in a foreign country, finding things to do for cheap or even free can really help lower your overall costs in the summer.

Consider exploring local parks, hiking trails, or community events that offer free or low-cost entertainment. Plan picnics, beach days, or outdoor movie nights with friends and family instead of expensive outings. 

You should also be always on the lookout for discounts, deals, and promotions for attractions, festivals, or events to make the most of your summer without overspending.

Remember, it's not the price tag that determines the quality of your summer experiences, but the memories you create.

3. Consider alternative travel and accommodation arrangements

Summer is a time that many of us take the opportunity to travel, whether that’s a road trip or catching a plane somewhere.

There are lots of ways to save on travel. One option is renting an RV for your summer road trip. Not only will an RV provide transport, but it also serves as a convenient and cost-effective lodging option. You'll have the flexibility to choose your route and make spontaneous stops along the way, all while avoiding pricey hotel rooms.

Another alternative is to rent private houses. This doesn’t just mean using Airbnb. You can trade homes with someone who wants to take a vacation where you live. operates as a home swapping platform where members can exchange their homes with others for vacation purposes. You can list your home on the website, specify the locations you’re interested in, and browse through available listings to find a suitable home for your own vacation.

You can even “petsit” in the area you want to stay for people who are off on their own vacation and save a bundle. TrustedHousesitters is a platform that offers pet owners the opportunity to find reliable house sitters who will take care of their pets while they are away. If there’s someone looking for a pet sitter in the area where you’re travelling, you can really save on your accommodation.

4. Set spending limits

Without clear boundaries, it's easy to get carried away with spontaneous purchases and overspend on summer fun. By establishing spending limits, you can have a fantastic summer while staying within your means. 

Spending limits are a bit like budgeting, but for a specific event or activity. Imagine you go to a food festival. Setting a spending limit of $75 will help you make wise choices about what foods you try and which you don’t based on price. 

Your spending limit may be different from others because it is based on your personal financial situation, priorities, and goals.

When setting a spending limit, make sure it’s realistic and does not exceed your overall budget. The key is to set a spending limit that works for your financial situation.

5. Build up cash reserves to avoid debt

When you think about it, summer should be the cheapest season to have fun. You can enjoy many activities for free, and you don’t have to go far to enjoy great weather. 

If you can, try to save as much as possible. Having an emergency fund is an essential part of avoiding debt. 

Prioritizing what you value most can help you make smart financial decisions during the summer. Try practicing the 24-hour rule. If you’re still interested in the desired item after sleeping on it, you’re less likely to splurge. 

6. Avoid relying on credit

It’s become all too easy to simply tap your credit card to make a purchase without immediately seeing the consequences in your bank account. However, relying too heavily on credit cards during the summer can lead to a financial burden down the line. 

Try using your debit card, or even cash, instead. You’ll have to think harder about your purchases as a result because the money leaves your account right away. This way, you'll have a clearer sense of how much you're spending. 

7. Automate bill payments

Time flies when you’re having fun, which can make it easier to forget about less exciting obligations, like payment due dates. The last thing you want to happen is to return to reality with a bunch of unpaid bills. 

Do yourself a favour: automate bill payments and savings contributions sooner rather than later. And if you’re planning to be out and about more this summer, enjoying the warm weather, consider re-evaluating some of your subscriptions. Gaming subscriptions, streaming services, and the like can be paused or cancelled to save some money. 

8. Prioritize debt payments

Another good idea is to take time to think about your debt repayment strategy. If you’re worried about growing interest charges, try the avalanche method. Keep making the minimum payments on all your debts but allocate more funds to the debt with the highest interest rate, like a credit card balance. 

Once the balance is paid off, you can move on to your next most expensive type of debt. 

Worried about summer spending?

If summer budgeting and a heavy debt load is making you anxious or stressed, consider speaking to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. An LIT can help you assess your financial situation and do a stress test before you commit to any additional summer costs.

Do you have more questions?

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June 13, 2024

8 ways to keep summer spending fun and debt-free

With vacation trips, festivals, and all sorts of exciting activities, summer can be expensive. Here’s our tips for keeping costs down without missing out on any fun.

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