The most elite season of the year is here; it’s summer time! Summer always conjures up images of lazy days, lots of laughter, and living my best life. However, my small budget means I have to come up with creative ways of living my best summer life in London.
My city is incredibly expensive, but I won’t let being broke in the big smoke stop me from having a good time.
I’m on a tight budget because I’m saving for my mom’s surprise bday trip. No matter the reason for your limited budget, having an open mind will help ensure you get the most out of summer. You have to believe you’ll be able to fun and you have to be willing to do things you wouldn’t always necessarily do.
brokenness is a
state of mind
The previous version of this post focused on “poor broke me,” and I used the b-word an unmentionable amount of times. Using that negative language only keeps you in that negative state. Since initially sharing this post, I have more control on my finances; I’m not swimming in a vault filled with money like Scrooge McDuck, but I can recognize the difference between a small budget and a non-exsitent one.
the truth is everyone deserves to have a good summer no matter the size of their budget
With that truth in mind I whipped up this list of 30 things you can do to have a fantastic summer in London (or whatever your city happens to be) that won’t disrespect your budget. Read through this list and pick a few to try. I can’t wait for you to have the summer of your dreams while keeping costs low!
Most of these tips are free but I’ve anything that costs a bit of money shouldn’t be more than £10.
30 ways affordable ways to have London summer fun
- Have a solo slumber party – put on a face mask, play your fav trap music, pop in one of those super fake frozen pizzas and settle down to watch a movie or two. Even better, invite a friend over and make it a real slumber party!
- Take a free tour – if you can manage a walking tour there is no better way to see London. My fav has to be the East London Art Tour because who doesn’t love quirky East London? The tours are free but you can leave a tip at the end.
- Get your laugh on – Angel Comedy Club has FREE entry. Perfect for a date or just an escape from your money woes this summer. Seats fill up fast so get there early.
- Take photos around town – Trust me, those walking tours will have you picking up your camera for sure. Keep the momentum going and snap a few pics around your neighborhood!
- Have a picnic – there are lots of green spaces in London so there’s no reason why you can’t have a picnic. Take a blanket and some snacks and chill for a bit in the sun!
- Visit a museum – a lot of London museums are FREEEEE!
- Have a garden party – no I don’t mean one of those fancy uppity parties (cause a bisssh ain’t uppity). Invite a few of your besties over and chill in the garden! Tell everyone to bring a snack and beverage as a means of keeping costs manageable.
- Have a movie marathon – choose a theme or movie series and see how many movies you can watch in a weekend!
- Visit the library – this might sound booooring but the library could be a treasure trove of activities for the summer. This could be a lifesaver too if you have little ones as there’s almost always something to do for kids at the local library and they’re usually free! Plus, books.
- Bird’s eye view – see London from a new perspective at the Sky Garden. I’ve seen the view from The Shard and it was incredible but the Sky Garden offers the same view and it’s FREE, book in advance.
- Listen to a podcast – podcasts are a great way to pass the time and you can easily learn a thing or two. Let me know in the comments what’s your fav podcast!
- Play board games – Monopoly, Connect 4, UNO! Grab your flatmate and have a game night.
- Have a free day – collect coupons for as many free things as you can find. It can be free food, free activities, free samples, as long as it’s free and exciting to you. Choose a day to run around and redeem your freebies. Birthdays are fantastic for getting free coupons but you can always score a free drink or treat when you sign up for a company’s newsletter. Happy Free Day!
- Enjoy the sunset – I love having a cup of tea on my balcony as the sun sets. It’s an excellent time to reflect on where I’m at with my life, watch people go about their business, and feel peaceful. Then I get a lil ratchet, start playing Drake, do a lil dance and move from tea to wine. Boss moves.
- Break a world record – sift through the world records, find one you think you can beat and SMASH IT! This could be a fun activity if you have kids or something random to do with your friends.
- Volunteer – not only will this get you out of the house, but you’ll have a chance to make new friends, possibly learn new skills and give back to your community. I volunteered at UK Black Pride and had a fantastic time! I got a chance to visit my first Pride parade EVER and connect with the district. Winning!
- Have a scavenger/treasure hunt – this can be done with little kids or with older kids/adults as well. A little effort and planning can lead to an afternoon of fun.
- Window shop – some people hate window shopping but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. There’s something strangely fun about interacting with things I might never own, esp luxury items.
- Have all the sex – it’s summer, it’s hot, your boo is hot…see where I’m going? Have a little frisky fun and remember, if you’re not ready to go unprotected, bring those prophylactics (that’s my weird way of telling you to use protection). Don’t forget, you can always go solo and play with some toys…
- Try a new recipe – use ingredients you already have and create something new for lunch or dinner.
- Find a free event – use Eventbrite to discover free talks and masterclasses to attend. It gives you a chance to grow and there might even be free refreshments!
- Start a blog – If you like reading my blog and you’re thinking “I could do that” you should start one too. There are free blog platforms but I would suggest jumping in and going pro from day one. You could get your blog for as little as £3.13 a month! Less than a medium choco latte venti cappimericino at Starbucks.
- Hang out with your family – spend time with your loved ones, especially if you haven’t seen them in a while. Use some of the ideas like a games night or movie night to add to the experience.
- Get your date on – revive that Tinder account. Summer is the perfect time to go on a few dates and meet your potential bae. Whether you’re looking for something serious or happy with a fling be sure to stay safe on your date. Also, walk with protection just in case things speed up a bit…
- Go to the cinema – I take advantage of Vue’s Super Monday Deal and save even more by bringing my own snacks – which you can totally do. Super Monday allows you to watch the hottest movies for only £3.99. Yes sir. I shall be there.
- Grab a Groupon – if you really want to have a fun night out this summer, Groupon can help you save a few coins! There are deals for bars (my go to), dining experiences and more. Be sure to read the terms and conditions AND the reviews before purchasing.
- Plan a proper staycation – can’t even afford a Groupon vacation? Do a staycation instead! No need to splurge on a hotel or tire yourself travel, you can stay in the comfort of your home and relax. Plan a few local activities, try a new restaurant, use that Vue Super Monday deal!
- Listen to a local band – there’s no way I can afford festival tix (unless bae treating me ya heard) but I can enjoy the sounds of a local band at a bar. Ask a friend, search online, or just keep your eyes open for posters in your neighborhood. Budget for them dranks!
- Have a BBQ – summertime was meant for grilling.
- Shop, shop, shop – go through your closet and decide a few items you need to update or replace and hit those SUMMER SALES! I literally wait for summer to add to my wardrobe. Hellooooo five pound finds!
- Try an Instagram food fav – you don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy the latest foodie find AND bonus points, taking a pic of an Instagram food fav can totally get you likes on the gram. Try one of these favs to get you started: Matcha flavored anything, healthy food, brunch vibes or start your own foodie trend!
- Update your hairstyle – I’ve dyed my hair with box dye a few times and it’s always turned out lovely. Just avoid having a diy platinum blonde bleaching mishap…
- Get a tattoo – lol tats aren’t cheap but a good compromise is grabbing a few temp tattoos; they’ll add a bit of fun to your summer look plus they’ll come in under £10!
30 ideas to have a fun, affordable summer
You can enjoy your lazy days and summer sun even if you’re not as rich as Oprah. It’s all about your mindset and remaining optimistic. No matter the size of your budget, you deserve to live your best life.
Let me know which of my ideas you want to try in the remaining weeks of summer!
30 Ways to Have a Fun Summer When You’re Broke
Glad you liked this post! The fun doesn’t have to stop. Here are a few of my fav posts!
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Did you know I also have a small blogger + biz owner tips website? Here are a few ways you can connect with me over at The Coco Creativ: