4 Ways You Can Have A Budget-Friendly Summer

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Flaming grill with burgers and hot dogs

BBQ potlucks: cheaper (and arguably more delicious) than going out to eat.

Summer is my favorite time of the year—and not just because my birthday falls right in the middle of it. The good weather that comes with the endless “summer daze” means more outside events and, with that, endless possibilities for good times.

This will be my first summer in New York City, as well as my first summer as a freelancer. In order to keep up with my loan payments/survive New York, I have to be extra conscious about my spending.

With that in mind, I made a few “suggestions” to myself that I encourage you to follow for a budget-friendly summer.


1. Get Your Daily Vitamin D

Remember a few months ago, when it was winter and the sun seemed lost forever? Well, now that sun is hanging around until 8 p.m.—and I’ve decided to take advantage of it.

This season, I plan to spend at least 3 hours a day outside. Whether it’s reading, writing, tanning, attempting to skateboard, or listening to music, I make sure I get my dose of Vitamin D. If I can make a day of it, I take a hike, go to a park, or visit a beach.

If the weather is sweet, why not enjoy what you love doing, OUTSIDE. It will improve your mood, and even better, nature won’t cost you anything. Nothing’s worth more than a sunset. Make it a thing to catch it every evening.

2. Always Bring Your “Chalice”

OK—maybe not an actual chalice, a canteen will do the job for this suggestion.

It’s important to stay hydrated during the summer, but you can’t buy something to drink every time you leave the house. Cheap bottles of water add up, as do more “fun” drinks like smoothies. You might feel better after these indulgences, but your wallet will dry out.

So, this summer, I’m making it a point to carry around my own water. If I want a smoothie, I take the time to make it at home. Bananas and papayas are cheap—combining them should give me something that tastes amazing, not something that costs three times as much as the ingredients.

3. Summer Grilling Is The Perfect Excuse To Potluck

Summer is synonymous with barbecues. If you want to save a little cash, as well as enjoy the nice day outside, why not have a BBQ potluck? Someone brings the veggies, someone else brings the steaks, someone else the bread or the chips … Before you know it, you have an epic meal among friends.

It’s only been a few weeks of summer, and I’ve already been to three different BBQ potlucks. The leftovers have been amazing, as these have kept my stomach and my bank account full.

4. Take Advantage Of Your Location

New York is packed this summer with free outdoor concerts, art shows, outside movie screenings, and block parties. It’s amazing all the things that are happening at the same time in this city.

I encourage everyone to look up events in their own town. Whether you’re close to a coast, or in the Midwest, summer festivals are everywhere. Take a moment to research your town’s summer events and plan accordingly. You’ll miss these opportunities come winter.

What are you looking forward to the most this budget-friendly summer?

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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  1. Michelle June 26, 2014 / 1:01 pm

    I love grilling outside in the summer. It’s fun, the food is yummy, and it can be a great way to save money if you are having a get together.

  2. mark annenberg June 26, 2014 / 3:51 pm

    I liked your comics and other publications. Best of luck! Sincerily, Mark Annenberg

  3. Ceci June 30, 2014 / 12:11 pm

    Great summer ideas. Thanks for the inspiration. I definitely spend too much on smoothies…

  4. julia June 30, 2014 / 8:00 pm

    Public transport is a hot hassle in the summer.
    My choice? Gym and transport.
    You bike? YOU WIN$

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