We’re at the peak of summer. That means swimming, BBQ, picnics, volleyball, and anything else outdoors. According to ING’s eZonomics, summer accounts for about 50% of spending and this is by far the season where people spend the most amount of money; a clear winner: https://www.ezonomics.com/polls/in_which_season_do_you_spend_the_most_money/.
This is the time of year where many use up that vacation budget they’ve been diligently saving the other three seasons, right? J Nevertheless, it’s important to plan and research summer expenses so that these fun activities and experiences stay within your financial parameters. For example, compare multiple airline websites for the best flight/vacation packages, use apps like living social or Groupon for food deals at your destinations.
And if it’s a road trip, pack some snacks in your car instead of eating junk food outside all the time. Of course, you’ll still want to try the local cuisine and not come back and be that person where people ask you went to such and such place and didn’t try the Whatchamacallit (no not the candy bar). In terms of a road trip, it’s also cost-efficient and fun for multiple families or many friends to get together and split the cost of a vacation.
This past June, my family and my uncles’ families rented a vacation house in Lake Anna, Virginia. It was a beautiful and spacious 4-bedroom waterfront home with a private boat dock, a huge deck, outdoor fireplace, a game room, and kayaks and raft free for us to use. We split the rent and the food cost for the whole weekend so it ended up being under $200 per person for the whole weekend!
We also rented a speedboat that my dad and uncle paid for themselves so I got to enjoy that for FREE 🙂 And to top it all off, we over-budgeted on food a bit, so split the groceries that were left and didn’t have to buy certain food items as part of our regular household grocery for most of June.
An alternative many people are embracing is a staycation. This is a vacation where you stay local and pretend to be a visitor in your own city. For example, I live near Washington DC so one weekend I can plan to take my family to the National Harbor which has attractions like the Capital Wheel, water taxi, swimming, and a variety of restaurants. Other local places for anyone to go can be the zoo, the museum, carnival, state parks (many of which include picnic areas, beach swimming, food concessions, and gift shops) or a local sports game.
I wish that the options of saving were as fun and exciting as the options for spending, lol! But that could be a different post entirely. The key is to spend these times with your friends and family – people you enjoy being around and with similar interests. It’s not always where you go, but who you’re around.