August Monthly Column: Be frugal and have fun this summer

In August, our social media feeds will likely be filled with images of families going on adventures, jetting off on holiday, having meals out and enjoying the summer while the kids are off school. For many of us, this can be deflating, especially if money is tight. We’re not all able to afford those kinds of luxuries. However, there are plenty of ways to make this a summer to remember – without spending a fortune.

 

Fancy a holiday abroad?

Whether money or pandemic-related restrictions get in the way, you may not be able to get away on a holiday abroad this year. Luckily, the UK is an island surrounded by rugged coastline and beautiful beaches. Why not have a day trip to your nearest beach with a picnic to keep costs down? Often it’s enough to get away from the same four walls we see every day to provide that feeling of post-holiday refreshment.

Craving restaurant-style food?

Search ‘summer meals’ at frozenpennies.com for a whole bunch of frugal tips, alternative ways of cooking and recipes to impress the family at the dinner table.

 

Feeling a trip to see some animals?

Several zoos ran virtual events and set up live enclosure webcams during the lockdown, including Chester Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo and London Zoo, and many are still available to watch online. You can even catch live footage of hippos, elephants, apes and lots more at San Diego Zoo in California from the comfort of your own sofa! Search ‘virtual zoo’ to see what’s out there.

Want to watch a live sports tournament?

The Euros may be over for this year, but the kids can still host a match of their own in the backyard. Or why not take inspiration from the Olympic Games taking place in Tokyo this year (COVID permitting!) and put on your own garden sports tournament? Push a soft ball into a sock, tie the end and compete in your own hammer throw challenge, have a hula-hoop-a-thon, or try your hand at rhythmic gymnastics. Don’t forget to host a closing ceremony and hand out medals, stickers or certificates to the competitors.

 

How about seeing some new sights?

You don’t need to travel far for a picturesque, energising walk or hike. Check out alltrails.com to find trails near you, with something for all levels and abilities. Who knows what treats you might find right on your doorstep this summer?

Colchester CAP Debt Centre have been supporting people in Colchester out of poverty and debt for eight years. They have seen over 150 households become debt free, as well as offering free courses on Money Management and Life Skills. For more info visit capcolchester.org or contact patsimorgans@capuk.org.