Aside from the holiday season, summer is the easiest time of year to blow your budget. We’re all the more inclined to socialize when the daylight hours are longer and the weather isn’t frigid. Rooftop parties, BBQs, festivals, vacations, and summer sales abound. They can also cost a pretty penny.
Fret not! Here are some budget tips that will allow you to still have fun with friends this season. Consider them the golden rules for summer socializing.
When someone suggests dinner, respond with happy hour
Spending money on food is one of the quickest ways to blow through your cash. Suggest meeting your friends for happy hour; many bars and restaurants offer happy hour discounts on drinks andfood. There’s no shame in having a budget—and sticking to it.
Circle fun free events on your calendar
One of the benefits of summer is the abundance of free events. Think: festivals, concerts, and talks at universities, parks, and museums. Find out what’s happening in your neighborhood and offer it as an option for your next group outing.
Your go-to commuting option is public transit or carpooling
This doesn’t mean you have to give up on taking an Uber to that rooftop party or BBQ. It does mean, however, that your first option is carpooling with friends, taking an Uber Pool, or, when feasible, opting for public transit.
Carrying a reusable water bottle with you is second nature
A reusable water bottle is your best insurance against having to buy overpriced and environmentally-unfriendly plastic bottles when you’re at an event. Find one that’s small enough to stash in your purse.
Your willpower is stronger than any summer sale
We know, we know. Many department stores hold massive summer sales (ZARA, we’re looking at you). Resist the urge to splurge on the latest fast fashion; a few summer dresses or sleeveless tops and shorts is all you really need.
Your knowledge of public parks and community events is second to none
Remember how everyone seemed up for a game of ultimate frisbee in college? Bring those days back this summer. Invite your friends to a game of baseball, soccer, or simply a picnic at the park. Your wallet will thank you.
Hosting joint parties is always more fun (and budget-friendly)
Let’s face it: Everyone wants to party during the summer. Cut back on costs by rounding up your closest friends for a joint bash. You’ll get to split the food and drink bill while still socializing.
Pooling money for gifts is one of your top skills
Summer weddings (or any kind of bash where you’re expected to bring a gift) can make a huge dent in your wallet. Make your gift memorable by pooling funds with friends to splurge on a gift at the top of the wish list. You’ll likely spend less while getting something that will certainly be appreciated.
You understand the power of saving loose change
Download a smart savings app that will help you hide money from yourself. Apps like Digit move small amounts to a savings account by rounding up your purchases. Other lesser-known apps help you earn a little bit of cash without much work. Consider it a way to offset your cappuccino habit.
When necessary, you’re not afraid to take up a side hustle
Don’t worry. We’ve got a boatload of ideas for you.