Posted by Jo Robinson
Summer 2012 is a definitely a season for celebration, what with the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and hopefully a bit of sunshine coming our way. But with household budgets still being stretched to the limit, everyone wants to enjoy our summer season without making a big dent in their bank balance. Here’s how you can get set for summer and have a scorcher without burning a hole in your pocket.
If you’re planning a holiday or a bit of a break from work some extra money could come in really handy, and summer is the perfect time to cash in.
For the younger readers (or those young at heart) festival staffing is a great way to see your favourite bands for nothing. OK, it’s not a money maker as such, but if you want to enjoy festivals like Leeds and Reading for free and save a fortune, this is the way to do it. Effectively its worth about £125, or sometimes even more.
Charities like Oxfam offer the chance to be a festival steward at a number of major UK festivals, where you’ll get hot showers, hot food and an exclusive staff camping area. Find out more and sign yourself up here.
If you’ve got a parking space or garage that is surplus to requirements, you can make a small fortune out of renting it, especially during the summer months. If you live close to a city centre, or better still a major UK airport you can make as much as £17,000 a year renting out your space. Advertise for free on Preloved's virtual parking lot here and put that space to good use.
It sounds impossible, but it can be done for almost nothing if you’re clever.
Check out house swap websites like Home Exchange or Home Base Holidays. They are well regulated to keep you and your property safe, and will let you swap with people just about anywhere in the world, so all you need to do is pay for the flights. Swaps don’t have to be simultaneous either so you can generally make arrangements that suit you.
Make the most of your loyalty cards by cashing in. If you have a credit card that gives you airmiles when you spend, check out how many you’ve got and put them towards your summer holiday.
Nectar card holders can use their points to get money off EasyJet flights, making getting to your destination even cheaper.
Days out in the UK don’t need to cost you a fortune either. Take advantage of the current Tesco Clubcard offer which lets you turn £5 worth of Clubcard vouchers into £25 to spend on over 150 days out across the UK, including theme park favourites like Aton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Legoland and loads more. See what’s on offer here.
If you’re after a swanky hotel break, then be sure to take a look at Lastminute.com’s secret hotel deals. They offer up to 45 per cent off 4 and 5 star hotels across the UK, and in Paris, Rome, Barcelona and loads of other popular European cities. You won’t know what you’re exact hotel is until you make a booking (that’s the secret) but rest assured they are all at the luxury end of the scale and definitely won’t disappoint!
If like me you tried with no avail to get tickets for the games, then I’ve got a bit of good news. There are loads of ways you can enjoy the Olympic festivities, and plenty of them are free!
Remember that the cycling road race and the marathon both offer the chance to watch an Olympic event for free and without needing a ticket so you’ll still have the opportunity to experience some live sport.
There will be live sites all over the UK where you can watch a big screen showing all the sporting events, and soak up the atmosphere of a big crowd. It’s not quite the same as being in the stadium, but it’s the next best thing. Find out where your nearest big screen is here.
And there’s still plenty of time to catch the Olympic Torch relay when it comes to a town near you – click here to see the schedule.