The Unexpected Costs of an Epic Summer

We all look forward to summer. And we try to plan ahead, but there are some costs that seem to come out of nowhere. Your friends and family will pull you in all directions for different commitments you can hardly refuse. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and adjust your monthly budget to accommodate these fun activities. But remember, it’s OK to say no if you’re hitting your fun-budget limit. FOMO should never be an excuse to overspend.

Even if you think you’re completely prepared, you might want to write yourself a few reminders for the unexpected cost of summer.

Road Trip

What you planned for: Perhaps you’re saving money on this summer’s vacation by road-tripping it instead of taking a plane. You’ve probably accounted for gas money but completely forgot a few crucial factors.

What you forgot to save for: Have you considered toll booths? They’re likely to pop up everywhere. If you don’t have an EZ Pass, remember that change quickly adds up, and you could be spending way more than imaginable. Also, how reliable is that car of yours? You never know when an unexpected expense might occur. Whether it be a fender bender or routine oil change, you better have a little extra cash to get you through.

Wedding Season

What you planned for: Summer is one of the best seasons because of all the wedding fun! Who doesn’t want to celebrate a new bride and groom? Maybe you’ve got your travel plans figured out, but it’s likely you’re missing something.

What you forgot to save for: The gift, of course! If the couple is registered, your hunt might be limited and pricey. Make sure you’ve got enough dough handy to prove to them just how much you care. And unless you’re planning on re-wearing something from your closet (and how often does that happen?), you’re going to need to hit the mall.

Beach Vay-cay

What you planned for: Maybe you’re not cruising to Hawaii this summer, but a week at the beach can be just as relaxing, as long as you remember what to pack. Even if you’ve accounted for the cost of renting, as well as food, drinks, sunblock and the rest of the necessities, there’s always more.

What you forgot to save for: The beach is the ultimate destination for impulse buys, so bring some splurge money. If you have kids, they’re going to whine when they hear those ice cream man jingles on the beach. But if you’re like me.. and you’re someone that simply just can’t adult is obsessed with all kinds of snacks, with a special weakness for ice cream trucks then you need to account for them too. There’s also mini golf, surf shops, booze trips and beyond. That’s not even accounting for the steep prices of the boardwalk, which is always a tempting treat.


What you planned for: If your idea of a perfect summer gathering is a leisurely barbecue at your house, make sure you’ve got everything covered so you’re not running to the story every five minutes. After all, you don’t want to miss out on your own fun and overspend at the last second. Surely you’ve planned for snacks, food and dessert, but what will your guests use to eat them?

What you forgot to save for: Chaos will break loose if you realize at the last minute that you’ve spent your budget, but have totally forgotten to account for paper items like enough napkins, plates, cups, plastic-wear, table cloths, and the rest of the necessities. So don’t send that invitation until you’re certain you can manage.

Amusement Park

What you planned for: A classic summer date or family trip is a day at the amusement park. Even if you have a full tank of gas for the ride there and back, as well as ticket costs and a lunch, don’t forget about one of the very first investments (and perhaps the most necessary).

What you forgot to save for: Parking can be a real shocker. Do your research ahead of time to see if you can find a park with free parking, or know what amount you’re going to be expected to shell out. Also remember the parking might require cash only. I also spend way too much money on snacks. *Whispers* Churros I love you. So you can pack some delicious snacks (seriously it’s so much cheaper to do this) or add those costs to your budget while you’re planning.

Make sure you’re not left scrounging for nickels this summer, and plan ahead so you’ll be aware of the many costs that come with having fun. As long as you stick to your budget, you should be able to have a perfectly epic summer.

What are some unexpected summer costs you’ve had to deal with? Are there any that you’re particularly worried about this summer?

This article by Anum Yoon first appeared on Current On Currency and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.