10 Jun

Written by Kathryn Vercillo on June 10, 2010

What do you spend the most money on during the summer months? If you can identify where your money is going then you can look for the best ways to save. By cutting back in all of your biggest spending categories, you can reduce your total spending by a large amount. Here is a look at twenty of the most common summer expenses. If these are things that you’re spending money on this summer, focus on ways to save in these areas:

    1. Travel. The most common big expense in the summer is the cost of going on a summer vacation. Cancel your summer vacation if you want to save big bucks. Find ways to reduce travel costs if you must go on a trip this summer.
    2. Camping equipment. Some families reduce travel costs by going camping. If you have to buy the latest gadgets and gear each year then you’re probably spending too much money on camping.
    3. Movies. Many of the year’s most popular movies hit the theaters in the summer. Skip the high cost of movie tickets and do at-home movie nights or outdoor movies in the park instead.
    4. Barbecues. Meat is expensive. Vegetarian alternatives to meat for the grill are expensive. Even many of the side dishes we make for summer barbecues are pricey. Look for ways to save when feeding the family at barbecues this year.
    5. Cooling your house. When the heat goes up, our air conditioning kicks on. Energy bills soar. Find ways to reduce home cooling costs if you want to save a lot of money this summer.
    6. Water. We drink more water in the summer. We take more showers in the summer. The kids play in the sprinkler in the summer. All of these means we’re using more water at home and our water bills are higher. Focus on saving water this summer and you’ll save the earth and save money at the same time.
    7. Cold drinks. Many people don’t just drink more water during the summer. They also increase their consumption of ice cold soda, smoothies and iced coffees. If you’re buying these out at cafes and restaurants then you’re going to drink away a lot of money this summer.
    8. Summer clothing. New swimsuits and flip flops often need to be purchased every year. Since you’re not going to need them all year long, be frugal in what you spend on these purchases.
    9. Summer beauty and skin care. Bug spray and waterproof sunscreen are summer must-haves for many people. Others also need lotions and hair conditioners to combat the effects of the sun. That’s smart; just make sure that you’re looking for the best deals on these seasonal expenses.
    10. Keeping the kids entertained. Kids want to go to amusement parks and other expensive entertainment centers in the summer. Work on finding free activities for the kids instead. Check out our article on 15 frugal places to tour with the kids.
    11. Summer events. Even folks without kids often get lured into attending popular summer events like concerts and festivals that cost a lot of money. Find free alternatives.
    12. Snacks and lunches. With the kids home all summer it sometimes seems like they’re eating right through your bank account. Make sure you buy healthy low-cost in-season foods to save money.
    13. Mobile phone bills. Children have more time to text. Travelers accrue roaming charges. Be careful not to let your mobile phone bill go up just because the temperatures do.
    14. Petrol. Fuel prices get higher in the summer so even if you’re driving the same amount as normal you may be spending more. Cut back on driving and look for deals to save money on petrol this summer.
    15. Yard sale purchases. Summer is the time when many of us head out to do random browsing and shopping yard sales. Antique stores, flea markets , craft fairs and swapmeets are also popular during the summer months. This is great if you really get a deal on items you would have needed to buy anyway. It’s a waste of money if you’re just making impulse buys of things you don’t need. Try reversing the process this summer and sell your stuff instead of buying other people’s things.
    16. Home improvement projects. The longer daylight hours make summer a great time to do big projects like renovating your house. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s definitely not a cheap activity so make sure that you budget carefully when taking on summer projects.
    17. Auto repairs. Summer is also a popular time to take the care in to get it repaired. This may need to be done but find ways to reduce your costs when doing it. And skip the car wash since you can do that yourself for a lot cheaper!
    18. Summer camp. This can be a terrific experience for kids. It can also cost a fortune. If you haven’t already made your plans then the last minute options are even pricier. Find other options for the kids this summer.
    19. Summer daycare. Kids that are in school during the year may need someone to take care of them during the summer months and that can be costly. Make an effort to find smart ways to reduce your summer daycare costs. Cutting back on work hours or working from home so you can watch the kids is terrific if it’s an option for you. Using your vacation time to save yourself a few weeks of daycare costs also works. Bartering for daycare with other parents is yet another option.
    20. Summer school. Whether it’s enriching dance classes for the little ones or extra college courses for adults in the family, summer classes can be expensive. College kids struggle because financial aid doesn’t always cover summer school costs. Consider finding other ways of educating yourself and your kids this summer without spending so much money. Otherwise make sure to look for grants, scholarships and community support which is even available for younger kids in summer school programs.

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