4 Tips To Have A FUN Summer On A Budget

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We are in full summer weather here in the Pacific Northwest and that means it’s time for all the fun summer activities. But if you are working towards some big financial goals you may feel like you don’t have the freedom to enjoy your summer as much as others.

Let me tell you friend, you are wrong!

I always have the most fun in summers enjoying all the lake days, camping and s'mores a girl can get and don’t go over my budget. So I’m going to share a few simple tips today to help you have a minimal spending summer with maximum fun! ;)

4 Tips To Have A FUN Summer On A Budget

1. Camping? Find cheap camping grounds.

When you go camping find the cheaper spots. There are places out there that you can camp for free but even if you pay there are camping sites on water for as little as $20 per night. Find these sites, bring your own firewood (or ask Facebook friends if they have any to share) and the only “extra” charge on your budget will be the nightly rate! Here is an article to help you find cheap camping!

Just because you are going camping, doesn’t mean you need to spend all your money!


2. Day Trips? Go to beaches and lakes that don’t cost money.

Most, if not all, state and national parks charge money to get in. Unless you have a parks card, (which is a good thing to own) that can add up quickly. Instead, when deciding where you’ll go on your day trip choose areas that don’t charge an entrance fee. Want to go kayaking? Head to your local waterfront! Want to float in the water? Find a lake not in a state or national park.

You might think, it’s not that expensive to get in, but if you want to go often to have the most fun summer ever (that’s the goal right?), it adds up pretty quick!


3. Road Trips? Buy cheaper gas and pack snacks.

Speaking of day trips which can sometimes mean road trips, the best way to save your money is to pack snacks and find cheap gas. This article lists some apps to help you find cheap gas. Download it on your phone before you take any long trips and don’t spend extra money just because you went to a different station.

Speaking of going to gas stations, do not, I repeat, do not buy your snacks for the trip at gas stations. Sure it’s convenient, sure they advertise that convenience, (it’s called a convenience store for a reason) but it is not cheap. A couple single size trail mixes or chip bags and a granola bar will be $7.00 when you could have bought a box of granola bars, a big bag of trail mix and full size bag of chips for that same price.

Pack your snacks at home or pick them up at a grocery store. Don’t waste your money at the gas station, either in the gas you buy or the food!


4. Barbecue? Tell everyone to bring one thing.

One of my favorite things about summer is a good old fashioned barbecue! But the first time you host one of those you realize how expensive a fun night with friends can be. So let me help. I got smarter about it the second time around. ;)

If you are hosting, buy the meat for sure and depending on how big or small your group is (smaller means you’ll each have to buy more) maybe the buns or condiments. Then simply invite everyone and tell them to bring something each. It’s that simple.

“Hey guys I want to have a barbecue at my house. Want to come? I’ve got hamburger patties if you guys want to bring some condiments or sides?”

See! I even gave you a script. ;)

If it’s a bigger group you can also go the route of listing what you’ll need and letting people sign up for an item. That way you don’t have six pasta salads and no drinks.

On the flip side of this if you get invited to a barbecue offer to bring one thing as well. It’s a nice gesture, you’ll probably get invited back, and you can make side dishes for cheap!


Those are just a few things you can do to have an amazing summer and not sacrifice your financial goals. This time of year is one of my favorites and I plan to be spending most of it around campfires or floating in a lake. :)