Welcome to the first real summer since 2019!
Cities are reopening, baseball games are in full swing, and concerts are coming back.
Airports are also busy again, and according to a recent study, over 80 percent of Americans say they’re ready to travel this summer.
There’s a common theme amid the reopening: this summer won’t only be a season of celebration — it will also be a season of spending. According to the head of Oxford Economics, “The U.S. consumer has an itch to spend (and) the means to do so.”
Americans are ready to have a good time, but the question remains: is it possible to have fun in the sun without breaking your budget?
We’re more than confident you can, so we put together three quick tips to help you make it happen:
1. Get Selective About Spending
Budgeting is great, but there’s a more relaxed way to save money this summer.
The secret is in the planning.
Outside of travel costs, food and entertainment are typically the #1 source of summer spending. There’s nothing wrong with drinks, dinner, and a show — there just needs to be a plan to limit the spending.
Here’s a great rule to help maintain your budget without obsessing over every individual dollar you spend: set a limit about how often you say “yes” to yourself and to your friends. During the summer — especially the summer after a pandemic — that can be hard to do.
Here’s how it works: pick one night a week dedicated to recreation, whether that means going to a restaurant, a concert, or a sporting event. On that one night, you can do whatever you want. But if you get invited to another restaurant or event a few days later, you have two options:
- You can either postpone that activity to the following week (and make it that week’s “yes” night), or
- You can try to find a different way to have fun without spending too much money.
Getting selective about spending is the best way to own your summer (without letting the summer own you). Before long, your friends and family will learn your new rules of engagement, and who knows? They may even start copying you.
If you’re wondering what free (but fun) activities look like, here are a few ideas: you can host a movie night, cook dinner for your friends, or get everyone together for a picnic in the park.
P.S. If eating out only once a week seems impossible, maximize your money by meal planning at home. Check out these nine great meal planning tips so you can splurge without guilt!
2. Cut Subscriptions & Memberships
If you need extra cash to fund your summer, consider pausing your monthly memberships.
For example, you can put your gym membership on hold until the fall and exercise outside. Or, if you want to give binge-watching a rest, you can also pause your Netflix account for the summer.
Better yet, if you have more than one streaming service, consider canceling the platforms you don’t really use. It could also be a great time to look at your cable bill and cut the cord altogether. After all, the average American household spends $116 on cable per month.
That’s $1,141 per year!
Whichever path you choose, these are all great ways to save money while financing your fun in the sun.
P.S. If you want to cool down your electric bill, you can save at least 10 to 15 percent by bumping up your thermostat a few degrees. How high should you go? The U.S. Department of Energy suggests setting it around 78F.
3. Plan A Staycation
Commercials have convinced us that real vacations require planes, hotels, and a week off of work.
While destination beaches will never go out of style, you can always find the exotic in your own hometown without draining your savings.
This summer, plan a “staycation” and make the most of what’s around you. It’s all too easy to overlook what’s right in your backyard, so if you live in or near a city, do all of the “touristy” things you might’ve rolled your eyes at once before. If you’re in the heartland or a smaller suburb, explore the sights, parks, and historical landmarks near you.
Or, if you’d rather kick back and go for a swim, what about renting a pool for an hour or two? With Swimply, you and your friends can find all the best local pools near you and rent them by the hour or for a full afternoon.
P.S. Gas prices are up 56 percent this year. If you have a car, make sure you’re saving money at the pump by downloading the GasBuddy app. It’s the best way to find cheap fuel prices whether you’re driving around town or venturing on a long-distance road trip.
Sending Money Home
At uLink, we’re all about helping you save money this Summer.
With our great exchange rates and fees starting as low as $0, you can send money home worry-free. And when you use the uLink Money Transfer App, you can skip the wait times and hidden fees and send money home to over 143,000 locations in 51 countries while you’re on-the-go.
Plus, after your 1st, 2nd, and 5th transactions, we’ll send you a $10 gift card to use at your favorite retailers. That’s $30 in gift cards after your first five transactions with uLink.
Miles from home — just moments away with uLink.