5 Simple But Fun Ways To Enjoy Summer On A Tight Budget

Young person having fun and jumping into the pool while friends watch during sunset.
Brooklyn Morgan / Unsplash

As the summer season begins, and I find myself in a realm of transition (which can sometimes be rather stressful), I must sift through very limited spending funds as well. And while it’s beneficial to have savings to fall back on while in between jobs, which I luckily do have, I’d rather not rely on my savings account since I might need it for important expenses down the road.

I’m someone who is eager for summer moments, for experiences that I can look back upon with that obvious dose of nostalgia. So, alas, instead of feeling held back my financial situation, I decided to come up with a list of summer fun I can still savor — without extracting too much from my savings.

1. Explore Enjoyable ‘Dine-In’ Options 

While perusing online recipes (I’ve been using Pinterest lately, but there’s an abundance of recipes across several mediums), it’s pleasantly surprising to see such a variety of dishes that look incredibly creative and satisfying; dishes that don’t require an extensive budget.

I’m someone who lives to eat, and I love having date nights out at restaurants, but that’s not going to cut it right now. I’ll have to eat in whenever possible and make dine-in nights just as gratifying. And though I’m not much of a chef (I still have some ways to go on that front, though my boyfriend can make a rubber ball taste great), there’s no time like the present to become acquainted with the kitchen, where we can make tasty dinners without breaking the wallet.

I personally crave summer seafood, and Shop Rite tends to have inexpensive deals when it comes to lobster. (And it’s fresh and delicious — seriously!) I vote for making lobster rolls and picnicking outside.

2. Have A Cozy Movie Night

While a home movie night sounds like a basic suggestion, it can be a fitting alternative to spending a lot of money at a theatre, club, or bar.

As an extroverted introvert (I decided that’s a label), I happen to thrive in low-key environments, and I like to simply unwind at home and have a ‘tuck-away’ date in, cozy and relaxed. Laughs can be shared and memories can be made.

3. Venture To The Beach After Dusk

Beaches can always hit the spot, but daytime parking can become costly. Depending on where you are, there are some beaches that allow free admission when the sun goes down, and if there’s a boardwalk to stroll on, even better.

I usually find the beach at night to be intimate and peaceful – there are not many people around, and the waves crashing against the shoreline underneath a pitch-black sky can humbling and beautiful.

4. Take Musical Drives

Sometimes, it can be grounding to listen to your favorite songs on a drive and breathe in the moment (whether you’re completely alone or in great company; I typically prefer the latter). Whether it’s a long scenic drive or a short drive around the neighborhood, roll the windows down on a breezy July night and take comfort in the music, the lyrics, and the scene.

(It’s also the quintessential time to perfect my singing voice too, of course.)

5. When In Doubt, Go To The Park

As cliché as it sounds, spending time in ‘the great outdoors’ is always a sweet option. For a particularly hot day (I’m incredibly whiny and awful with the heat), you can always find a park that has a sprinkler and rekindle your inner child (which I always like to do anyway).

I happen to find the ‘going to the park’ premise to be rather youthful and romantic, especially when the weather is in my favor, and I’m able to breathe in the smell of freshly cut summer grass and flowers.

It’s easy for me to feel let down if I feel like I’m missing out; especially when it’s a season that’s renowned for vacations and special experiences.

But summer, hello; it’s me. Let’s make it a good one, even though finances are tight. TC mark

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