As temperatures soar, so can our spending. Here’s how you can save money in summer while still having fun.
1. Bulk up on basics
Summer time can mean lots of sunshine, staying hydrated and entertaining unexpected guests. Relish the good times and still save money (and stress) by stocking up on entertaining supplies in bulk. You could head to your local value store for those things you know you’ll need – crackers, icy poles, cordial and frozen party foods. Plus a one litre pump-dispenser of sunscreen.
2. Embrace JOMO
Don’t let the fear of missing out (aka FOMO) pressure you into spending money you’d rather save. Instead, embrace JOMO (the joy of missing out). Low-key nights in spent reading or binging a TV show, lazing around, or even just having a screen break rather than feeling forced to attend an (often pricey) outing you’re just not that into could reap serious rewards for your bank balance and your health.
3. Look out for deals
A world of entertainment and activity bargains await you. From theatres that offer ‘pay what you can’ days (usually for matinees), to restaurants that do menus at reduced prices, to tickets for attractions that are heavily discounted when bought online, huge savings and a full social calendar are just a Google search away.
4. Set your air con to 25C
The battle over the humble thermostat has been causing friction in households since air conditioning was invented. But did you know that cutting down its use by just half an hour a day could save households up to $72 over the three months of summer? Even setting your unit to one-degree warmer than you normally would can cut costs by up to 10%. The savings-savvy rule of thumb is to set your AC to 25C in summer and 18C in winter.
5. Enjoy a staycation
Australians love to travel (in 2016-17 we took 10,756,890 trips overseas) but perhaps the 9.1 million foreign visitors we welcome here each year are onto something? Maybe it’s time for a staycation? From our unrivalled natural landscapes (hike, anyone?) to the museums and galleries that offer free entry, there’s always something exciting to do. Keep an eye on your local library and council’s social media to find out about free activities (like outdoor movies, concerts and talks) in your area too. And when it comes to food, why not pack some snacks and hit the park for a picnic?
6. Fall back in love with your old clothes
As the temperature rises, so too does the temptation to splash out on a new summer wardrobe, but there’s a good chance you’ve forgotten about the stylish numbers you were rocking last summer as it’s been 10 to 12 months since you last wore them. Dig out your summer clothes, if you still like them, you don’t need to replace them. And, if you think some things won’t see this summer’s sun, see if you can sell them on.
7. Make the most of your local park
Your local public park could well be the key to you saving money and maybe also improving your life! If you’re looking to get fit, make the most of your park’s free gym equipment. From pull-up bars to sit-up benches, with a bit of creativity you can get a whole body workout without a gym membership. The playgrounds are perfect for keeping the kids entertained too and, if you use the free public barbecues, you can stretch it out to a full day’s activity. Then there’s the handful of parks that host farmer’s markets (hello free food samples) and offer free Wi-Fi and concerts –kerching!
Do you have any no-fail tips for saving in summer? Feel free to share in the comments section.