Summer Spending: Why It’s the Second Most Expensive Time of the Year

Summertime is often considered the most affordable season of the year. But in reality, it’s the second most expensive, after winter.

Here’s a breakdown of how summer expenses go up and where people spend their money.

GIF of Donna and Tom from Parks and Rec doing their notable "treat yourself" line. The above text reads, "Hot girl summer planning be like."

On average, Americans spend about $600 more during the summer months than they do throughout the rest of the year. The main reason for this is that people travel more in the summer. According to AAA, the average family spends about $1,145 on vacation during the summer. That’s a significant increase from the $935 families spend on vacation for the rest of the year.

But travel isn’t the only thing people spend money on during the summer. Costs increase for food, clothing, and entertainment. For example, people tend to eat out more in the summer. This can add up quickly! Plus, warmer weather likely requires new clothes, like shorts, swimsuits, and sandals.

A new study from the National Retail Federation sheds some light on these questions, revealing that summer spending trends vary depending on the type of retail space.

For example, department store spending typically decreases during summer, while spending at outdoor retailers and apparel stores increases. This may be because people are more likely to travel and participate in outdoor activities during the summer, resulting in a need for new clothes and gear.

Discount stores are also favored for summer spending, as people look to save money on items like pool toys, beach gear, and barbecue supplies.

So what can we do to save money during the summer?

Here are a few tips and tricks.

Travel during off-peak times

If you’re planning a summer vacation, try to travel during the off-peak season. You’ll save money on airfare, lodging, and other travel costs.

Take advantage of free activities

There are many ways to enjoy the summer without spending much money. Take advantage of free or discounted activities in your area, such as concerts, festivals, and museums.

Shop around for deals

Be sure to comparison shop before making any big purchases. This is especially important for items like air conditioners and other summer essentials.

Eat at home

Dining out can be expensive, so try to eat at home as much as possible. If you go out, look for restaurants offering discounts or special promotions.

Following these tips can help keep your summer spending under control. So enjoy the warm weather and have fun without breaking the bank!

Learn more button links to for employees page.
We’re here to help you break free from the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and navigate your financial journey, one day at a time. At Work gives you the tools to take control of your financial future.


Get it on Google Play button links to At Work on the Google store on android.
Get it on Apple Store button links to At Work on the Apple Store.
More Stories
You can use a money tracking app like to use improve your financial wellness
How to Use Nav.It as a Small Business Owner