Summer is a spending spectacle because it’s actually the time of year when we spend the most money…not Christmas.
Summertime brings more than sunburns and barbecues; it can also send your monthly expenses through the roof. After you add up all the vacations, festivals, concerts and after-work drinks, you’d be surprised to learn that summer can become the most expensive season of the year. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are seven ways you can enjoy a frugal summer without sacrificing your social status.
Space out the purchase of tickets for festivals and events.
If you’re into festivals or concerts, purchase the tickets in advance so that you spread out the costs. And, if you’re planful enough, you might even qualify for early bird specials. The same longer-lead-time principle applies to booking vacations.
Hang out with the good kind of “budget” friends.
There are two kinds of “budget” friends. The first is financially neutral; someone who isn’t an overspender or a super saver. Their practicality can work in your favour if you’re trying to lay low. But, unless you collaborate with them to cook up schemes for low-to-no-cost entertainment such as a picnic to the beach, you might not find them interesting. So use your imagination.
The other type is someone who doesn’t ever spend money. They aren’t generous. They’ll bring wine to your backyard barbeque and take the half empty bottle home. Steer clear of these folks because they’ll scrimp on the tip, pay less than their share, show up empty handed and hound you for gas money if they drive your child to summer camp.
Manage your expensive friends.
We all have friends who always wants to spend money every time you hang out. Though they mean well, these people are generally unaware of the financial circumstances of others. They make good money and have no trouble spending it. So, if you want to hang out, it’s usually at a fancy new restaurant or prime time at a golf course, costing you too much money.
This person doesn’t need to be deleted from your list of contacts. The best strategy is to take some of the planning control back, offering alternative suggestions like hosting meals or exercising outdoors.
Be organized about patio socials.
It’s always awkward tracking down everyone at the end of the night to pay the patio bill. Before too many libations are had, discuss how you want the bill managed – separate, together and split at the end of the night, or treating each other. If this conversation seems weird, make a joke about it: “wouldn’t it be horrible if I got stuck with the bill?”
Use your summer social outings to network.
It is essential to be social if you are climbing the ladder at work and you should consider coffee, drinks and strolls with co-workers at least twice per week. The rule of thumb with networking is that the inviter picks up the tab, so if this is you choose venues you can afford. But, if a young person invites you out, you should pay because chances are you make a lot more money.
If you have a healthy dose of self-awareness, chances are you know generally the financial capacity of your friends. So, your friend can’t afford to travel, don’t even ask. For those whom you choose to travel with openly discuss the timeline for the trip and state precise budget boundaries such as “my limit is $750”. That way your friends can easily opt in or out.
Stick to frugal fashions.
For 90 per cent of us, wearing a new outfit every day this summer is not possible. But, adding, or replacing a few items, to your wardrobe is. Take a moment and consider what you need and how much you want to spend. As a guiding principle, purge before you buy so that you are fully aware of your fashion inventory.
Whatever your financial and social status, don’t compare yourself to others. Simply spend within your means and your wallet and friendships will be much happier.
This topic originally appeared on TheSocial.ca. It has been modified from its original version.
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