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 do day trips from home, 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.

Young girl dressed for summer running in the sand with a younger sister and their parents behind her, to spend a day at the lake.

Last month, we looked at ways to plan your saving for summer. This month, let's look at a few ways 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 hosting a potluck dinner party with drinks at home.

2. Find free events

Over May and June, municipalities, bloggers and other online sources will start publishing 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 festivals to free crafts in neighbourhood playgrounds. Servus sponsors hundreds of events around the province throughout the year, and we let people know on our website and social media channels. 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 you have so you don't buy more than you need.

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.