Budgeting and Financing is something that everyone deals with. It does not matter how much money you have you have to budget it. It does not matter if you make 10,000 a year or 100,000 a year if you don’t budget your finances properly you will end up with debt and always be living paycheck to paycheck. I am here to help you so that does not happen. I can help you to learn how to spend, and how to save, and how to enjoy money.
I know most people think that is not a possibility when you don’t have a lot of money but I am living proof that you can actually enjoy money and have fun with it. You can do things like take that dream vacation or buy that car you always wanted. Stick with me and you will be feeling better about your finances in no time.
Summer is here and you’re ready to get some sun and have some fun until then you realize that almost everything cost money, and in some cases, it cost more now. I know there has been a time when I waited to plan my summer stuff until the last minute just to find out that everything was already booked, or cost way more than I thought it would. Eek!!! No one wants that, so my first advice is never wait until the last minute because everything will be gone, or the price will be super high. I plan everything in advance from romantic vacations with my hunky hubby to family trips. I plan at least a year in advance in order to save money and get a good spot. Yes, I have our Christmas Trip already planned and booked as well as our vacation for June of 2019.
Now I am not saying you have to go that extreme but the sooner the better because once the weather is warmer you will find that you are not the only one who has been going stir crazy all winter and the availability at places is slim to none. Last year we went on a camping trip to Forks Washington, (yes, the one from Twilight), and we did a group camping trip with some friends who had booked it the year before. We fell in love with this place and went to book for the next year and it was already sold out. Which reminds me I should make a reservation for next year if there are any spots left. Not all places are like this, but the good ones usually are. Hotel will raise their prices because they know that people will pay them. Gas prices go up and the whole nine yards.
Don’t worry though because I have put together a list of 10 money saving tips for summer that will help you out. I have included the video here and for those of you are would rather read then watch the list is below just for you.
Two for One!
When going on an outing such as golf remember to look at their website for specials. A lot of times places like this will have a two for one deal and you can save money. There is no reason to spend more than you have to.
Yes, there are still plenty of things to do in the summer that wont cost you anything. Go to the beach or for a hike on a new trail, site see at your own city because you will be surprised at what you what you find. Take it from me I love in a small town and every now and then my hubby and I will head down to our favorite coffee stand and will sit outside with our drink while we see what’s new around town. The only cost here is the money for our drinks and we spend some alone time together. Win Win… Another option is check out your local library and see what kind of summer programs they have going because those wont cost you anything either. You can see some great things there.
Eating out Deals
Yes, eating out will cost you money but there are ways to save when you do that as well for instance when you go out to each consider splitting a meal with someone. Restaurant portions are always bigger then we need so why not share the food and save some money. I remember one time my hunky hubby and I went to Red Robin for lunch and we got a burger with fries and a cup of soup. We shared the food and with my Red Robin loyalty card I got the soup for free. We ended up spending around $13.00 for the meal and that includes a 15% tip to the waitress. Now that is what I call a good lunch.
How much is too much?
This also goes back to the eating out and saving money. A lot of times we make the mistake of thinking we are hungrier than we are, or the menu looks so good we go a little crazy. I am sure you can remember a time when you went out to eat and when the bill came it was about $50 more then you thought it would be. EEK!!! It all comes down to those extras and you have to watch on this because waiters have gotten really good about slipping things in that you wouldn’t think would cost extra. Every time my husband goes to breakfast at Denny’s he ends up adding on about $5 extra dollars to his breakfast because when the waiter asked if he wants cheese or onions in his hash browns he doesn’t think about it, so make sure to ask if there is an extra charge for something before nodding and saying yes. The best way to do this is to try and plan your meal before you get there. Things like appetizers and desserts can add an extra $5.00 or more to your bill. If your hungry instead of an appetizer maybe consider adding soup or salad to your meal. This way you only spend a couple dollars more and you still get it before the meal. I also suggest eating a little something before you go out to eat so you don’t feel like you’re starving.
Yes, this falls under the same category as the others, but drinks can add quite a bit to a meal ticket as well. Most people wont even look at the cost of a drink as they sit down and order what sounds good. Well the next time you are in a restaurant take a look at the menu before you order. If the waiter is standing there waiting for your drink order, then just tell them you would like water for now. This gets them to walk away but also to know you may still want something. Then look at the menu so you can see. Most places are charging around $3 for a soda anymore which might not sound like a lot but if everyone gets a soda by the end of the meal you have added on a nice chunk of change to the bill that you were not calculating. Even coffee has jumped up in price so make sure you look at it before you order. My suggestion if you must drink something other than water maybe share this item as well. My husband often gets a soda and I want some I will take some drinks off of his and it works out because most places offer free refills on these types of drinks. I like to stick to water with lemon and I can have as much as I want and no extra charge on my bill. If you’re looking for alcohol, then be careful on these because places will way over charge. I recommend picking up a bottle of wine and drinking it at home or on the beach with your people.
Now I know a lot of people hate dealing with coupons or they are embarrassed to use them but let me tell you that the reason coupons exist is because these places want you to use them. You can find great deals on places such as Groupon and more but if you don’t want to deal with coupons up front then go with a place such as Ibotta. This app is great and its awesome because all you have to do is save your receipt at the end of your outings. Then when you get home go through Ibotta and see what deals there are, and they will give you your money back. I have been using Ibotta for over a year now and I have gotten around $100 back. By the way if you sign up for Ibotta please let them know I referred you. My referral code is naqbxyn. Also, be sure to check out Facebook pages for specials that places are offering. Remember how I mentioned the two for one deals those are a huge way to save so look and see what is going on before you go in.
Now that is it warmer out think about riding your bike or walking to your destination to save on gas money. In the summer months gas prices always go way up because people are traveling more and using their toys such as boats and jet skis and so they need gas. This is smart on a business point but not helpful for people like you and me. If walking isn’t an option, then talk to your friends and consider a car pool or a trade such as you buy them coffee and they take you to the coffee stand. You get the idea. This is the same thing when taking a vacation because prices are different during the summer months. For instance, this summer my husband and I are going to San Francisco for our anniversary and normally we drive but because of gas prices being so high right now it was actually cheaper for us to fly there instead. We made sure we got a hotel right in the center of town and close to the Warf, so we can walk everywhere and there is a shuttle included in the room price to take us to and from the hotel.
A lot of times in the summer people want to take vacations but with the cost of gas and the high prices for hotels I recommend camping. One of my best friends flies to Hawaii every summer and camps on the beaches there. This saves her from spending a ton of money on hotels. You don’t have to go so far but this is an example of saving money. I love to camp on the beach or at least close enough to wake up and see it and depending on where you go sometimes you can camp for as little as $10 a night.
Another great way to save money in the summer is to suspend your gym membership until fall. The weather is great and there are a ton of activities that you can do outside to keep you exercising so why waste your money at the gym especially if you are not going. Use that money for some summer fun and pick it back up in the fall.
Yes, I did just stick those two words together, but I will explain why. One thing I am asked a lot is “What can we do as a couple that won’t cost a lot of money?” This is a good question because you want to get your couple time in, but you don’t want to break the bank. During the summer there are a ton of runs and walks out there for a number of different charities that you can join. The entry fee is usually pretty minimal and its for a great cause. The fun part is you two can train together and do it together. You can even make it fun and decorate yourself for the cause and go all out. There a ton of other great and low-cost things to do as a couple but you will have to read about those in my Thrifty Traveler Book for couples that comes out in 2018.
I hope this helped you with some fun summer stuff and to save some money in the process.