Monday Money #9: How to keep your budget cool in hot weather

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With the summer months comes the inevitable temptation of spending more money, whether that’s on fresh new summer clothes collections in stores, or going out for dinners and drinks more often to make the most of the sunshine. Despite our best intentions, sometimes this means that we don’t stick to our budget plans, and money saving can go out the window during the hotter months. Of course, it’s so important to still enjoy ourselves during the summer (and all year round, in fact) but what are the best ways to do that whilst sticking to a budget?

Plan trips away in advance

One glance at social media and you will be met with photo after photo of people on glamourous summer holidays or city breaks. This can leave us feeling fed up, especially if a budget doesn’t allow for a holiday this year. It is easy to reach for the credit card, but the key thing to remember as always on social media is not to compare yourself to others- you are on your own journey. One way to make sure that you don’t splash out on a trip and cripple your budget is to plan some little getaways in advance, even if that just means visiting friends or family members in another part of the country, or even a camping trip! You will no doubt have a great time and come back to your hometown feeling refreshed and feeling like you have had a mini-break of your own.

Make the most of the weather… for free

Going for a walk in the sunshine is a feel-good activity which is completely free! Feeling the sun on your face is a feeling that can’t be beaten, and spending some time outdoors in the fresh air whether you are alone or with a friend can be the best place to come up with some new ideas or to mull anything over. You can make a day of it by packing a picnic and a good book and finding a park or green area where you can settle down for the afternoon. Picnic lunch aside, this is a totally free way to enjoy the summer months, get some books ticked off your reading list and spend some time in the great outdoors.

Look through your own wardrobe before investing in more summer pieces

Summer clothing collections always seem so appealing after spending months wrapped up in woolly jumpers and thick coats… but that doesn’t mean that your budget needs to be squashed as soon as the sun makes an appearance. Brands will put out advertisements all over magazines, TV and social media which can be hard to ignore, but by looking through your own wardrobe, you will probably find some hardly worn items from summers gone by- let’s face it, how much does a summer wardrobe really get worn in Britain?! If you are feeling the itch to update your wardrobe with some new clothes, look through everything you already have and then head to the charity shops or log onto eBay to find some bargains. Charity shops are usually full of clothes from all seasons, so you are bound to find something to suit you and your existing wardrobe- pop into a few shops in your lunch hour and you will likely find something wonderful for less than the price of a meal deal.

Host get-togethers at your own home

Instead of spending on lots of eating out and drinking out like we do more often during the summer, why not invite friends over to your own home? It can be so fun to host dinners or BBQs with friends, and this way, everyone can bring something along with them to keep costs down, and everyone’s budgets are kept in check. You could look up some tasty fruit punch recipes or even some cocktails to emulate that ‘night out’ feeling at your own home. You’ll even save money with no taxi fare to pay!

Hopefully some of these points will give you some ideas about how to spend less money this summer, if you’re already good at managing your budget during the summer months, what are your best tips for making the most of the sunshine without straying from your budget?

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