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Who doesn’t like the summer? Summer Fridays, days on the beach, vacations, weddings, the Fourth of July, and baseball are just a few of the innumerable reasons to love the warm months of June, July, and August.
However, the extra events and everyday pleasures that go hand-in-hand with Summer lead to a jam-packed schedule. Consequentially, this general busyness brought on by summertime often leads to a tighter wallet.
Keeping this in mind, LendEDU set out to discover if there is a noticeable difference in the amount of money we spend during Summer as compared to the other seasons of Fall, Winter, and Spring.
After surveying 1,000 adult Americans and dissecting their seasonal spending habits, we came away with the following key findings:
- On average, Summer is the second most expensive season of the year. Poll participants spend an average of $2,229 in the Summer, while spending $2,314 in the Winter, $2,064 in the Fall, and $1,952 in the Spring.
- 43% of respondents anticipate Summer 2018 to be their most costly season. Amongst this group, 48% of those that have credit cards believe they will take on credit card debt to cover the additional Summer expenses.
- Amongst respondents that anticipate spending more during Summer 2018, 28% have taken on a side-hustle to cover the extra costs, while 36% are considering it.
Full Survey Results
(This survey was conducted online and administered to 1,000 Americans ages 18 and up. Full Methodology can be found below.)
1. Do you anticipate spending more during the Summer months of 2018 (June, July, August) when compared to other individual seasons including Fall, Winter, and Spring?
a. 43 percent of respondents answered “Yes.”
b. 48 percent of respondents answered “No.”
c. 9 percent of respondents answered “Not sure/I’d rather not say.”
2. In your best estimation, how much do you anticipate to spend in the Summer season of 2018 (June, July, August) not including recurring expenses like rent, mortgage payments, or cable?
a. The average respondent anticipates spending $2,229 during Summer 2018.
b. The median amount expected to be spent during Summer 2018 is $1,000.
3. In your best estimation, how much do you anticipate to spend in the Fall season of 2018 (September, October, November) not including recurring expenses like rent, mortgage, or cable?
a. The average respondent anticipate spending $2,064 during Fall 2018.
b. The median amount expected to be spent during Fall 2018 is $1,000.
4. In your best estimation, how much do you anticipate to spend in the Winter of 2018/2019 (December, January, February) not including recurringexpenses like rent, mortgage payments, or cable?
a. The average respondent anticipates spending $2,314 during Winter 2018/2019.
b. The median amount expected to be spent during Winter 2018/2019 is $1,155.
5. In your best estimation, how much did you spend in the Spring Season of 2018 (March, April, May) not including recurring expenses like rent,mortgage, or cable?
a. The average respondent estimated that they spent $1,952 during Spring 2018.
b. The median amount spent during Spring 2018 was $1,000.
6. (Asked only to those who answered “A” to Q1) Do you have a credit card(s)?
a. 76 percent of respondents answered “Yes.”
b. 24 percent of respondents answered “No.”
7. (Asked only to those who answered “A” to Q1 and “A” to Q6) Do you anticipate taking on credit card debt to cover the additional expenses that come with Summer?
a. 48 percent of respondents answered “Yes.”
b. 50 percent of respondents answered “No.”
c. 2 percent of respondents answered “I’d rather not say.”
8. (Asked only to those who answered “A” to Q1, “A” to Q6, and “A” to Q7) How much credit card debt do you anticipate taking on?
a. The average respondent anticipates taking on $1,715 in credit card debt.
b. The median amount of credit card debt anticipated to be taken on is $1,000.
9. Which of the following Summer expenses do you anticipate will increase during the Summer months of 2018? (Select all that apply)
a. 26 percent of all answers were “I will be taking more vacations/traveling more.”
b. 20 percent of all answers were “My social life becomes more lively, and I will be going to more events like weddings, concerts, bars, etc.”
c. 10 percent of all answers were “I have children and must pay for summer expenses like camp and/or babysitters.”
d. 22 percent of all answers were “I like to go shopping in the Summer to upgrade things like my wardrobe, house, and backyard.”
e. 13 percent of all answers were “Another expense not listed.”
f. 9 percent of all answers were “None of the above.”
10. How much do you anticipate to spend on vacations/travel during the Summer of 2018?
a. Amongst applicable respondents, the average amount anticipated to be spent is $1,583.
b. Amongst applicable respondents, the median amount anticipated to be spent is $1,000.
11. How much do you anticipate to spend on events like weddings, sports games, and concerts during the Summer of 2018?
a. Amongst applicable respondents, the average amount anticipated to be spent is $637.
b. Amongst applicable respondents, the median amount anticipated to be spent is $300.
12. How much do you anticipate to spend on upgraded items like clothing, general household items, and/or backyard amenities during the Summer of 2018?
a. Amongst applicable respondents, the average amount anticipated to be spent is $656.
b. Amongst applicable respondents, the median amount anticipated to be spent is $300.
13. How much do you anticipate to spend on your children’s expenses like camp and/or babysitters during the Summer of 2018?
a. Amongst applicable respondents, the average amount anticipated to be spent is $869.
b. Amongst applicable respondents, the median amount anticipated to be spent is $500.
14. Have you ever lied about your child’s age to pay less at classic summer events like amusement parks or the movies?
a. 20 percent of applicable respondents answered “Yes.”
b. 78 percent of applicable respondents answered “No.”
c. 2 percent of applicable respondents answered “I’d rather not say.”
15. (Asked only to those who answered “A” to Q1) Have you ever taken on a side-hustle (i.e. Uber driver, delivery driver) during the Summer months to cover the additional expenses?
a. 28 percent of respondents answered “Yes.”
b. 36 percent of respondents answered “No, but I am considering it.”
c. 36 percent of respondents answered “No, I am not going to do this.”
16. (Asked only to those who answered “A” to Q1) Ultimately, do you think the additional summer expenses are worth it?
a. 79 percent of respondents answered “Yes, the Summer is a time to spend your money.”
b. 12 percent of respondents answered “No, I always regret spending more in the Summer.”
c. 9 percent of respondents answered “Not sure.”
17. Do you modify your budget based on the season if you expect your spending to change?
a. 60 percent of respondents answered “Yes.”
b. 29 percent of respondents answered “No.”
c. 11 percent of respondents answered “I don’t have a budget.”
Observations & Analysis
Winter the Most Expensive Season, Summer Second
According to the data gathered from our respondents, Summer 2018 will be the second most costly season of the year, trailing only Winter 2018/2019. The average adult American consumer that took part in this survey was anticipating spending $2,229 during this year’s summer, compared to $2,314 expected to be shelled out during the forthcoming Winter.
Summer’s successor Fall looks like it will be coming in as the third most expensive season, with an average anticipate spend of $2,064. Finally, this past Spring registered as the most inexpensive season this year as consumer estimated to have spent $1,952.
It comes with minimal surprise that Winter of this year is expected to be the costliest of seasons; gift-giving holidays like Christmas, expensive New Year’s parties or resolutions (like a gym membership), and the romantic celebrations of Valentine’s Day all point towards one outcome: a lot of dollars spent.
It was interesting to see that the narrowest price difference amongst the seasons came between Summer and Winter, only $85. Despite Winter’s unavoidable costliness due to holiday spending, Summer held its own as quite an expensive time of the year.
In fact, 43 percent of all poll participants indicated that they expect to spend more during the Summer months of 2018 when compared to the other season’s of the year. Meanwhile, 48 percent of respondents did not have the same expectation, while 9 percent were either unsure or opted not say.
So, while it may not be the most expensive season on average, Summer definitely can still run one’s wallet thin. We found out from our survey participants what costs of theirs are expected to inflate during June, July, and August that push Summer toward the costlier side.
When it comes to expenses that consumers anticipate will increase during the Summer, the most populated answer was folks taking more vacations or time to travel, which represented 26 percent of all answers. With the warm weather and lack of school, the Summer is a perfect time for adventure-seeking, just be prepared for a steep bill.
Alayna Pehrson, an online blog manager, explained how the summertime climate impacts her spending: “I definitely have let myself spend more money over the Summer. In the winter, I tend to stay at home so that I don’t have to brave the cold and snow outside. However, in Summer, I try to go out as much as I can. Because of this, I have spent money on things like hammocks, camping gear, clothing, hiking boots, etc. All of which I wouldn’t have bought during other seasons.”
One-fifth of all answers pertained to spending more cash on social events like weddings or concerts, which always seem to become more popular during June, July, and August. Additionally, 22 percent of all answers related to respondents dolling out extra dollars on shopping for things like new clothes or a new patio set, while 10 percent of all answers circled back to child-related costs like summer camp.
Costs pertaining to children can become quite high, especially during the summer. Taylor Spangler, an Accredited Financial Counselor and a Program Coordinator at the University of Florida, summed up why child-costs run sky-high in the Summer: “Families with school-aged children may notice increased grocery, utility, and entertainment costs in the Summer to feed, cool, and distract kids who are no longer spending 35+ hours at school each week. Pricey Summer education programs or sleep away camps can blow the household budget.”
While maybe not the steepest of all seasons, Summer is still nothing to sneeze at when it comes to reaching into your wallet. The overload of summertime events and the desire to go on vacation lead to unavoidable costs but also plenty of enjoyment.
So, are the seasonal costs of Summer worth it?
Amongst respondents that believe the summer will be their most expensive season, we asked if they thought the added costs were worth it? The vast majority of these poll participants, 79 percent, said they believe the additional summer expenses are worth it because “the summer is a time to spend your money.” Meanwhile, 36 percent answered that they always end up regretting the extra spending, while 9 percent were undecided.
Taking On Debt to Afford the Summer Is Common
With the added costs of Summer, budgets are sure to be stretched thin as recurring payments like rent, mortgage payments, and the utilities bill still must be met. Considering this, the months of June, July, and August may be a time where consumers are forced to dip into their credit a little more than they would like.
We wanted to try and find out if those respondents that believed the Summer will be their most expensive season will take on credit card debt due to the added costs. Right off the bat, 76 percent of those specific poll participants stated that they had at least one credit card.
These poll participants were then taken and asked further questions regarding their expected credit card usage during the Summer of 2018.
Nearly half, 48 percent, of the credit card holding respondents that anticipate the Summer to be their most expensive season also are anticipating racking up credit card debt to afford Summer’s offerings. 50 percent of survey takers did not expect the same outcome, while 2 percent opted not to say.
Amongst those consumers that may be leaning on their plastic a little heavier this Summer, the average amount of credit card debt they expect to take on is $1,715, while the median amount is $1,000. That average credit card debt figure could be hit simply with one vacation or a few expensive upgrades to one’s house over the Summer, but such is the way that this time of year often goes.
As noted earlier, the warm temperatures and added leisure time that comes with Summer almost always come with an expensive price tag. Whether or not a consumer wants to agree with that price tag is entirely based on what they are prioritizing: immediate enjoyment or long-term savings. If it is the former, credit card debt may be the only option for those looking to enjoy Summer’s pleasures.
Can’t Afford the Summer? Consider a Side-Hustle
In 2018, the possibilities to take on side-hustles are perhaps more prevalent than ever before. If you have a car, you can drive for Uber or Lyft, or become a delivery driver. Are you always traveling or have a property that is not often used? Airbnb could be an option. No car or no space to rent out? Becoming a local courier via Postmates could be another option.
>> Read More: How to make money fast
With no shortage of side-hustles, LendEDU was curious to see if respondents have taken on extra gigs to cover the price of Summer. Asking only poll participants that indicated Summer 2018 will be their most expensive season, we went ahead and found out…
Side-hustles to cover the cost of Summer seem to be a very real option for many consumers that responded to this poll. 28 percent of the survey participants that see Summer as their costliest month indicated that they have taken on a side-hustle to meet the Summer budget, while 36 percent are considering this route. Another 36 percent of respondents bluntly said they would never do this.
A former Uber driver and now-CEO of a ride sharing company called Ridester, Brett Helling, explained the Summer side-hustle idea: “The rise of the on-demand service industry unlocks a type of income that is incredibly appealing to many people, especially those that work part-time jobs or students looking to make extra cash during the summer. Unlike traditionally scheduled shifts that interfere with time with friends or fun activities, an on-demand gig allows workers to work pretty much whenever they want.”
He continued, “I myself have previously worked as an Uber driver and Summers were a great time to make more money.”
Some Parents Use White Lies to Cheapen Summer
Ending on a lighter note, we wanted to address something that always seems to be quite prevalent amongst families in the U.S. During the Summer, social outings like going to the movies or an amusement park become quite popular with families, especially younger ones. Usually, these venues have varying prices for varying ages; for example, children 12 or younger only require a $7 movie ticket instead of the standard $10 movie ticket for people 13 or older.
Asking the parents that participated in this survey, we found out how many of them have told a little fib in one of the aforementioned instances to lessen the financial burden of Summer just a bit.
As it turns out, 20 percent of parents that took part in this online survey have pulled off this little cost-saving trick when attending an event like a movie or theme park. Meanwhile, 78 percent of applicable respondents have abided by the pricing guidelines, while 2 percent did not want to reveal if they have done this or not.
This maneuver only lasts for so long before the lie becomes unbelievable, so some parents are cashing in while they still can. During the Summer, when costs and temperatures are high, those few dollars saved at the ticket window could be put towards a nice, refreshing ice cream cone, a happy child, and an even happier parent.
The Different Ways to Finance Extra Summer Expenses
Between the extra traveling and socializing that goes on during the Summer, expenses tend to run quite high during these months in comparison to other parts of the year.
Because of this, LendEDU names a few different financial products below that could be used to help cover the additional costs.
A credit card is the most common way to cover additional expenses and would be a great financing option to handle the Summer expenses. Plus, there are so many credit cards to choose whether you want a rewards credit card, travel credit card, student credit card, or cashback credit card.
Before going any further with this financial product, just be sure to get caught up on current credit card interest rates so you know what to look for when comparing your credit card options.
Perhaps not as widely used as a credit card, a personal loan is another finance product that could be taken out to meet the expenses that are attached to the summertime. Just like a credit card, there are a variety of personal loan options, and you can find an online personal loan or a more common bank loan. Personal loans are also offered to a wide range of people, from consumers with good credit to those with bad credit.
When it comes to getting a personal loan, familiarize yourself with current interest rates and best practices. For example, applying for a personal loan with a co-applicant might help you get a better deal.
Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit
Lastly, if you are a homeowner you could always look into utilizing your home’s equity by taking out either a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). For HELOCs, there are a few different options you could look into like a fixed-rate HELOC or an interest-only HELOC.
There are home equity loan closing costs and fees that you should brush up on before tapping into your home’s equity. If you’ve already paid off your mortgage, don’t worry, because you can still take out a home equity loan on a paid-off house.
All data that can be found within this survey derives from an online poll commissioned by LendEDU and conducted online by online polling company Pollfish. In total, 1,000 adult Americans ages 18 and up were surveyed. Respondents that fit the age specifications were found via Pollfish’s age filtering feature. Respondents that fit the desired specifications were found via Pollfish’s online user panel of over 100 million and were selected at random. This survey was conducted over a two-day span, starting on July 4, 2018, and ending on July 5, 2018. Respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their ability.
See more of LendEDU’s Research
Author: Mike Brown