Australia has some of the most expensive cities in the world, and summer is the most expensive season, with increased spending on entertainment plus the usual festive season hits to the wallet.
Don’t let the double whammy get you. Here’s how to save this season.
The weather warming up means one thing: after months of being stuck inside, rugging up and comfort eating, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.
The majority of Australians live near the coast, which means we’re lucky enough to live close to some of the best beaches in the world, so make the most of them. Going to the beach is free fun.
Why not try your hand at surfing, snorkelling or paddle boarding if you’re so inclined. The equipment doesn’t cost much to hire and can be easily found at the bigger beaches. Otherwise, take an umbrella, a good book, a picnic and some friends for a nice day out.
If sand and waves aren’t really your thing, or you’re landlocked, take a hike. Literally. Bush walking through this great country is an amazing experience, and again, is free exercise.
Daylight savings provides lots of time after work to enjoy the balmy nights, so rather than heading to a fancy restaurant or bar, pack a picnic and head to a park instead. There’s nothing worse than going straight home and inside after a day indoors at work.
Paddle boarding in Watsons Bay, Sydney. Pic: Jason James
For more info on paddleboarding in Sydney, check out Destination NSW’s guide.
The change of season brings with it great marketing campaigns from your favourite clothing stores, cleverly convincing you that you absolutely must have new swimmers, dresses and shorts this season.
Before handing over your credit card, go through your winter wardrobe. Is there anything that could be customised for summer? If cutting the legs off a pair of jeans, or the sleeves off a winter top isn’t going to do it, buy what you need (on a budget) with caution.
No-one likes sweat patches and sticky clothes. Polyester and nylon aren’t breathable and look cheap no matter how much you pay. Cotton and linen are much better options for those sweaty trips standing shoulder-to-shoulder on a bus.
Summer is the best time of year to be in Australia, so forget about that European winter or the Japanese snowfields and explore your own backyard.
There’s always something going on, from festivals and theatre to markets and music. There’s also Chinese New Year in February with heaps of markets and exhibitions across the country.
There’s always something fun and free going on in Federation Square, Melbourne. Pic: Vikspiks
We couldn’t have a list about saving in summer without something on cooling systems.
One of the biggest costs in summer is air-con, so saving money here means there’s more to be spent on other, more fun things, like Pimms and Paddle Pops.
If you’re one of the 9.2 million Aussies with an air conditioning unit, set a timer, turn it off before you go to bed, and close doors and windows to keep cool air in.
Alternatively, use a fan to keep cool, and close blinds and curtains on those hot days to prevent excess heat coming in.
Main image: Unsplash