Don’t Let Summer Wreck Your Budget: 7 Real-Life Savings Strategies

how to save money
Joe Valtierra under Creative Commons

Summer is here! To those of you who endured a long and cold winter, it’s reason to celebrate. But don’t take the celebrations too far: Because of the laid-back spirit of the season, it’s easy to lose track of your budget this time of year.

To help you out, our friends at LearnVest rounded up the summer savings strategies of seven real people. Here are some of our favorite ideas from their list of ways to save money this summer.

Rent Out Your House

If you’re planning to travel this summer, why not try to make some money off your house or apartment while you’re away?

“It’s the perfect way to enjoy lengthy summer getaways without breaking the bank,” Erica Zidel told LearnVest. She earned $2,000 by renting out her home during a month-long trip to Spain, which was almost enough to cover accommodations for her entire vacation.

Airbnb is probably the most popular way to rent out your home — and if you do it for 14 days or fewer per year, you won’t even have to pay taxes on the money you earn!

Pause Your Gym Membership

When it’s beautiful outside, chances are you won’t want to spend the day in the gym. So take your workout outdoors.

“To take full advantage of the warmer weather, I’ve frozen my $99 gym membership from June to September for the past five years,” Chelsea Dowling explained. “Instead of taking spin or barre classes indoors, I either jog or participate in a free neighborhood yoga class in [the park].”

Depending on how expensive your gym membership is, you could be looking at savings of several hundred dollars or more. And don’t forget: You can even earn money with FitStudio while you do it!

(Update: Fitstudio just announced it’s shutting down on Feb. 10, 2016, so you’ll no longer be able to earn points this way.)

Create a “Nanny Camp”

Have a nanny, but know your kids would love the activities and socializing of a day camp? Maybe it’s time to combine the two.

That’s what Katie Bugbee did. “Together with other families whose kids and nannies we loved, I brainstormed a bunch of entertaining activities and created a Google doc. Then we agreed that each family’s nanny would be responsible for organizing an activity one day a week.”

For her, this “nanny camp” was a huge money-saver, since two-week day camps in her area “can easily run $2,000–$3,000.” Instead of paying those exorbitant fees, she gave her nanny both a raise and a bonus.

Even if you don’t have a nanny, take advantage of free summer activities like geocaching, watching outdoor movies or helping your kids set up their own business.

Just because the temperature is increasing, doesn’t mean your budget has to. For the full list of summer-saving ideas, head over to LearnVest.

Your Turn: How do you plan to save money this summer?

Susan Shain (@Susan_Shain) is a freelance writer and travel blogger who is always seeking adventure on a budget.