How to stretch a dollar over summer

The sun is shining, the days are longer and opportunities for get-togethers are everywhere. Check out ME’s affordable ways to relish the fun so you can head into autumn without a burnt-out budget.

  1. Save on the latest movies

Summer means the long school holidays lie ahead. But keeping the kids busy over summer doesn’t have to leave you strapped for cash.

A family trip to the movies can turn a blockbuster into a budget buster. Save by joining reward programs like Cinebuzz that let you earn free tickets and access to discounted sessions.

Or tap into the perks offered by service providers. Telstra offers discounted entertainment tickets through its Telstra Thanks program. Insurance companies and motoring associations often have similar deals. RACV members, for instance, can save 30% on movie tickets.

  1. Make a splash for not much cash

Switch off the power guzzling air con and cool down in the great outdoors with a day at the beach. For the cost of fuel or a bus ride, you can chill out with sand and surf for next to nothing.

If you’re located inland, get to know your local aquatic centre. Bring the kids, BYO a picnic basket and relax with a low maintenance, low-cost pool party.

  1. Travel with zero accommodation costs

Summer holidays are a great chance to head interstate to catch up with friends and family. Instead of racking up big bills on hotel accommodation, consider swapping homes with a likeminded traveller.

According to home swap websites like Aussie House Swap, you could save between $1,500 and $4,000 per week on holiday. 

  1. Soak up some culture with low-cost theatre tickets

Set a summer date to soak up some live theatre. Make it affordable by getting together a group of ten – maybe your family plus another. Many theatres offer 10% off group tickets.

Ask about ‘rush’ tickets – discounted tickets available on the morning of a performance. Or, those who aren’t working can head to an ‘unwaged’ performance, which is when theatres hold one free performance per production for audience members who face financial and social barriers to attending the theatre.

  1. Fine dine on a beer budget

Host a budget-friendly festive dinner party – ‘pot luck’ parties, where each guest brings a surprise dish to share, can be a lot of fun.

If you’re keen to dine out, try a breakfast or brunch get-together. It usually works out much cheaper than a dinner date.

  1. Tap into free fun

A big day out doesn’t have to cost a packet. Bushwalk in a national park, explore city walking trails, or head to the museums and art galleries in your area that don’t charge admission fees.

It’s shaping up to be a long hot summer, but it’s easy to have a good time without getting hot and bothered about overspending.

This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit mebank.com.au

Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229500.