Ah, summer! Kids laughing and playing outdoors, long nights around the backyard firepit, after-work drinks on the patio. Whether you choose to take a trip abroad this summer or have a staycation, summer ice creams, drinks, festivals and attractions can add up quickly. What we value most about these times are the people we're with and the memories we make.

An illustration of an ice cream truck parked in front of a group of houses and trees.

If you're not sure where to start, here are a few ways to plan your saving for summer. Now, let's look at some tips to stretch your money farther this season.

1. Cut costs where it makes sense

Paying for cable when there's nothing on but reruns? Have a month-to-month gym membership, but you'd rather be outside? How about the produce you're eating—could you save money by growing it yourself? When it comes to summer, it's the experiences we remember. Switching off our screens, getting outside and growing our own garden or participating in community gardens — these are all great experiences that are good for us physically, mentally and socially and can actually save us some money. Consider skipping the pricy restaurants and bars and having a backyard get-together instead.

2. Find free events

Over May and June, municipalities, bloggers and other online sources will publish lists of free events for adults and families. Oftentimes, a simple Google search of "free events, [enter your location]" will bring up lots of options to choose from. These free events typically range from theatre shows to pop-up concerts in neighbourhoods or even online events. Servus sponsors events around the province throughout the year, so stay tuned to our website and social media channels to find one in your area. Sometimes benefits are exclusive to members too!

3. Find ways to be efficient

Sometimes we can save money just by slowing down and spending a bit more time on preparation. If you're going on a holiday this summer, know what you need for travel insurance so you don't run into problems. You may have enough insurance already through your employer or your credit card, but plan ahead and know what is and isn't covered especially since many policies have changed.

With gas prices climbing higher and higher, check that your vehicle is running efficiently, your tires are pumped properly and you're not carrying too much extra weight. This can make your fuel go farther. Or better yet, take public transit or cycle if it makes sense.

Time with family and friends shouldn't have to cost a fortune. With a plan and a budget, you can make the most of your summer.   

For more help with your summer plans, give us a call at 1.877.378.8728 and talk to a Servus financial advisor. To find out more about summer events sponsored by Servus, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Originally posted on May 7, 2018.