Summer can be an expensive time of year, the weather is warm and we’re not inclined to want to hibernate on the couch and binge watch Netflix.  Instead we spend extra time and hard-earned money out at a local patio grabbing a drink (or three) after work, renting a cottage, attending  pricey festivals, or grilling up top grade steaks to BBQ and then enjoy on our pricey new patio furniture.  It’s easy to feel like going on a budget vacation and living in the moment all summer long.  Then in September we may find ourselves with a financial hangover in terms of our bank account, credit card balances, and our down payment nest egg because we pressed pause while we thoughtlessly spent all summer long.

To save a little money all you need to do is keep track and get a little creative.  Here are 10 tips to help you save a little coin this summer, and still enjoy yourself.

  1. Instead of paying for the drive in…
    Consider going to a free outdoor movie in the city.  To find out what’s playing near you click here.
  2. Instead of buying brand new camping equipment…
    Talk to your friends about borrowing supplies.  If you only need a tent once a year, but have a great set of coolers and camping chairs to trade, all you need to do is coordinate your vacations, get trading and camping.
  3. Instead of eating street meat on your lunch hour…
    Pack some cold food worthy of a picnic at a nearby park or parkette.
  4. Instead of getting Blue Jays tickets…
    Go check out Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball at Christie Pitts Park…come support your local high level minor league baseball club, it’s free!  Look at their schedule here.
  5. Instead of hitting a local patio pub for drinks…
    Carve out a little space or your patio or balcony to enjoy some much cheaper drinks along with your friends.  You can alternate who hosts and even make it a BYOB event if you want to stick to a very specific budget.
  6. Instead of a steak BBQ…
    Try cheaper, sale cuts of meats along with some great marinades.  Want to get even fancier and healthier?  Get some cheap in season veggies and make some kabobs.
  7. Instead of an expensive outdoor festival concert tickets…
    Look into free options that the city has to offer.
  8. Instead of a pricey water park for the kids…
    Consider a city run pool or splash pad.
  9. Instead of an expensive round of golf…
    Try disc golf…you can attend one of Toronto’s three free Frisbee golf courses on Ward Island, at Centennial Park or at the Don Valley’s E.T. Seton Park. Click here for Toronto Disc Golf Courses.
  10. Instead of the zoo…
    Go visit High Park’s Animal Paddocks where for a nominal donation fee you can visit bison, deer and Llama.  Feel like a farm experience?  Go to Riverdale Farm.
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