With the recent spike in inflation, many Americans are feeling the pressure to find as many ways as possible to stretch their dollars. But luckily, there are many useful ways you can save money and get out of a financial pinch. If you’re looking for some tips, here’s how to save money this season while still having an enjoyable summer.

1. Create a budget

Some people think of budgets as restrictive, but that’s not at all what a budget is for. In fact, the real purpose of a budget is to decide how you should spend your money. If you’re not budgeting already, then try this exercise yourself or with your partner:

  • Add up your total monthly income.
  • Subtract your necessary expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance, etc.).
  • With everything left over, come up with a list of expenses you’d like to spend it on.

Budgeting can help you better prioritize your spending. When you give each dollar a purpose, you’ll be far less likely to spend it on trivial purchases.

2. Plan a fun staycation

Who says you need to fly to a different city to go have fun? If you or someone you know has a pool, decent-sized yard, or other fun toys (like a boat or four-wheeler), you could plan a staycation instead.

Keep in mind that staycations can also include being a tourist in your own town. If you Google “things to do locally”, you might be surprised by the number of free festivals, music in the park, and other events your community has to offer.

Staycations can be done right when you get your family involved in the planning process. Ask everyone to choose one fun thing that they’d like to do and then make a schedule. You’ll be surprised by how much you look forward to the activities you’ve got planned each weekend.

3. Cancel unused subscriptions

These days, it seems like everything is purchased on some sort of subscription basis, like movies, music, books, and gym memberships. And there may be subscriptions you don’t use anymore but are continuing to pay for each month.

Don’t fall victim to subscription overload. Go through your credit card and bank statements and look for any you may have forgotten about. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t used a subscription service in the last three months, it may be time to cancel it.

4. Cook more at home

Even though it can be fun to dine at a restaurant and sit outside during the summer, you may pay more for food and drinks than you really need. Instead, try cooking the same meals at home.

All the recipes you could ever want are on Pinterest and YouTube, and the cost of the ingredients will be much less than what you’d pay dining out. Plus, you can even have your meal outdoors so that you can enjoy the summer day.

The bottom line

Don’t let higher prices ruin your summer fun this year. Try planning an event-filled staycation and cooking at home. Or spend some time getting your finances in order by preparing a budget and canceling subscriptions you’re no longer using. With these useful tips, you’ll start saving more money in no time.

Notice: Information provided in this article is for information purposes only. Consult your financial advisor about your financial circumstances.