Guide to Saving Money During the Summer: 10 Tips

By Jacqueline DeMarco · July 07, 2022 · 6 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Guide to Saving Money During the Summer: 10 Tips

Summertime can lure us into spending more money simply because our usual habits and routines are disrupted. Kids are out of school and desperate for entertainment. Adults are eager to spend time outdoors after months of being stuck at home.

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget that summer fun comes at a cost. To make the most of the season without breaking the bank, keep reading for 10 tips on how to save money in the summer and how to stick to a summer budget.

Why Saving and Budgeting in the Summer Can Be Tough

Holidays aside, many of us are satisfied spending the colder months curled up on the couch enjoying a succession of movie marathons. So when summer rolls around, we’re eager to get outside — and that increases the temptations to spend exponentially. Because while sun and surf are technically free of charge, the food, drink, and transportation costs that inevitably follow can steadily chip away at your summer budget.

Another reason that saving money in summer can be tough is the spontaneous nature of summer fun. Consider that last-minute happy hour invite to a new rooftop bar ($$). Or those friends who have an empty bedroom in their rental house by the lake ($$$$). The last thing you want to think about is your bank account. And the less advance planning that’s involved, the more likely it is you’re living beyond your means.

10 Tips for Saving in the Summer

Sure, small indulgences add up over time. But so do honest attempts to curtail overspending. Let’s look at 10 ways to save money and get financially fit for the summer.

Recommended: Where to Keep Your Travel Fund

1. Not Feeling Obligated to Plan a Vacation

From airfares to gas prices, travel costs soar during the summer. Planning your big trip for the fall, when prices drop, can make it easier to stretch a travel budget. The benefits aren’t just financial: You’ll enjoy fewer crowds and less sweltering temperatures. And you can still arrange a few fun yet inexpensive staycations for summer.

2. Finding Local Events in Your Community

Many communities host special summer events like outdoor movie nights and concerts, street festivals, and sports tournaments — most of which are free to attend. Make a point of checking out free events in your area. You may discover your neighborhood has more to offer than you ever imagined.

Recommended: Visiting National Parks on a Budget

3. Suspending Your Gym Membership

When the skies are clear, who needs an indoor treadmill? Pause your gym membership during the summer months, and go for a run in the park instead. You may save enough cash to book an affordable vacation in summer.

4. Using the Outside to Cool Your House and Car

Open windows before bed and early in the morning, and use fans to keep indoor air moving. You’ll cool your home without having to rely on air conditioning. You may even find you prefer the feel of no AC.

Did you know using your car’s air conditioning can reduce your gas mileage? On hot days, park your car in the shade and place a sunshade over your windshield to reduce the need to crank the AC during your next quick trip.

5. Planning Ahead Before Going to the Store

No matter the season, a shopping list can help prevent overspending at the market. After all, groceries take a major chunk of your monthly budget. In the summer, it’s natural to enjoy wandering around air conditioned grocers and big-box stores. But that strategy (or lack thereof) may lead to a cart filled with impulse purchases. Create a shopping list before heading to the store, and try not to stray from it.

6. Tracking Your Spending

Another seasonless tip for sticking to a budget is to track your spending, especially for unplanned events. Generally, when consumers track how they spend their money, they become more mindful of their purchases and actually find it easier to stick to a budget. (Bonus: They’re also more likely to catch fraudulent charges on their credit cards.)

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!

7. Setting Budget Limits

Setting summer budget limits, on things like dining out and airfare, can help you squirrel away extra cash for next year’s big trip. That’s because budgeting is the leading strategy to help you reach financial goals. By seeing how much money is left over at the end of each week or month, you can earmark that amount for more long-term costs.

8. Utilizing Cash Over Credit Cards

Paying cash for summer activities can protect your budget in more ways than one. First, cash is more concrete: Forking over multiple Jacksons will slow your spending better than throwing down a card.

Second, if you can’t afford to pay off your entire credit card bill each month, relying on cash will help you avoid paying interest on the balance.

9. Suspending Unused Monthly Subscriptions

From streaming services to meal kit delivery, monthly subscriptions can really add up. It’s important to review subscription charges on a monthly basis to see which no longer make the cut. And because our habits change so drastically in the summer, you may find you can cancel or pause some subs until you need them again.

10. Planning Accordingly if You Are Vacationing

For families with school-age children, summer may be the only time they can take a real vacation. If you hope to take a summer trip, you’ll benefit from creating a special vacation budget that outlines how much you plan to spend for things like dining out, activities, hotels, and souvenirs. Going overboard now and then is only human, but setting a detailed budget makes it less likely you’ll overdo it.

Managing Your Finances With SoFi

To get the benefits of both worlds, you may want to open an online bank account with SoFi. You’ll be able to easily access your money with mobile banking and our network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs, and with direct deposit, you’ll earn a competitive APY. Plus, you won’t pay any monthly fees or other account fees.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


How can I save money on summer vacation?

Choosing less trendy destinations and creating a detailed vacation budget can make it easier to save money on a summer vacation. Avoiding travel around holiday weekends can also save you a bundle, as can postponing your big trip until after Labor Day.

Why is it hard to save money in the summer?

In a nutshell, our habits and routines change significantly with the seasons. Keeping kids entertained during the long school break, spending less time at home, and going on vacation can all tempt folks to hand over more cash than they should.

Where do budgets change the most during summer?

We all tend to spend a lot more on things like travel, entertainment, and dining out in the summer. Some less exciting costs can also run higher, like electric and water bills thanks to increased air conditioning and garden maintenance.

Photo credit: iStock/Hispanolistic

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender