5 Ways to Spend Summer on a Budget

Reproduced from http://www.benefitseveryone.co.uk

With summer fast approaching it’s time to say goodbye to studying. halls and student finance, you’re back home, you’re broke and so are all your friends so what on earth are you going to do all summer? You could get a job, though their not easy to come by and besides who wants to work in weather like this? You could borrow from the bank of Mum and Dad but you still owe them for helping out last month when you didn’t correctly work out your budgeting, again. So why don’t you try out my top five ways to spend summer without actually spending;

  1. Volunteer at a Music Festival – Love festivals but can’t afford the tickets? Not a problem, with various volunteer programs you can attend them for free in return for just a few hours work. The jobs range from litter picking to bar work, there’s no uniform, you can work with your friends, and some companies even provided you with food. There’s also the added satisfaction of listening to your favourites knowing you well and truly earned it. Check out https://www.festivalvolunteer.co.uk/ & http://www.hotboxevents.com/about/festival-stewards-and-festival-volunteers/ for the chance to attend some truly awesome festivals.
  2. Host a Frock swap: Summer means night’s out and parties galore it also means you need a tonne of new outfits which you can’t actually afford. Still we all have clothes tucked away at the back of our wardrobes that we never wear. Clothes that looked amazing under the bright lights of the changing room but transformed into monstrosities the moment we got them home. So gather all those unwanted, unworn items, get your friends to do the same and swap.
    Spend an afternoon trying on each others outfits, it’s just like shopping but without cramped, overheated fitting rooms and impatient shop assistants. Plus that one friend that insists on trying on everything can be left to it whilst you lounge in the comfort of your own home. It’s the perfect way to spend a rainy day and you can get a stunning new outfit for free.
  3. Have a Photo Shoot – We live in the age of Instragram and SnapChat the chances are that if your not a budding photographer at least one of your friends are. Local woods make great locations or skate parks for a more urban setting. Turn it into a summer project that combines all your friends strength. Have a friend whose into beauty and fashion? They can be the make-up artist, sporty friends can be the subject of fantastic action shots. Get creative and just have fun. You could even pack a picnic and make a day of it, it’s a great way to soak up the sunshine and spend time with friends. You may also get a portfolio out of it.
  4. Give back to your local community – There are hundreds of volunteer projects in the UK that run the whole year round. With so much free time during the summer months why not take part and give something back. You can find local projects at http://vinspired.com/ or why not create your own? Rally the troops for littering picking at your local park and see how quickly your tan develops . Or if you’re more artistic you could paint over graffiti with a colourful mural people will enjoy. Volunteering allows you to hang out with your friends with the satisfaction you’re doing good. There is also the added benefit of keeping you out the path of annoyed parents whose “get out of my house” hints have become far from subtle.
  5. Host a Pot-Luck BBQ – Activities involving a lot of people and food are often very pricey when providing it all depends on one person. However the idea of a Pot-Luck is that everyone brings a plate of something and everything is shared. Not only does this keep the cost down it’s also a lot of fun, you could end up with all sorts of combinations. Previous Pot-Luck’s of my own have involved a banquet entirely of pudding. Many parks and woods have there own designated barbecue areas so you an invite as many of your friends as you like, just remember to clear up afterwards.

Hopefully these ideas will help you make the most of the last of your penniless summers before we all have to get jobs and spend these months working instead.

Image reproduced from benefitseveryone.co.uk

The Look For Less

Living in beautifully styled home that looks like it’s off the page of a magazine doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Take a look at these designers’ digs and the tips on how you can get the same look for your home for much less!

Liza Sherman’s Eclectic Bedroom

This celebrated antiques dealer from NYC knows what she likes and how she likes it. If you don’t get it, she can’t explain it. Her taste and style shines through in this sunny yellow bedroom that radiates warmth and shows off her cool eclectic style.

Get this look for less by starting with paint. Giving your room a fresh coat is an instant transformer. Sherman’s room uses the same color on the wood floors for added interest. Leaving the ceiling and molding white keeps the color from overwhelming. No need for expensive bedding here. Simple white pillow cases and inexpensive batik throws will recreate the look. For the art, stencil some portraits on thin plywood with spray paint and frame a few of your favorite tees. Eclectic style is all about mixing pieces from different eras and styles, so have fun with it!

Robert Couturier’s French-inspired Entry

Couturier’s work has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair and the New York Times. His designs can be seen worldwide and his stylistic instincts are legendary. This entry way was designed with a nod to French design. Rich texture and bold color combine to make this space subtle and glamorous.

Again, a fresh coat of paint does wonders for a space. White will also make a room seem larger, so if you’re living in a small flat this is a great option. The most unique part of this space is the antler chandeliers, but don’t need to purchase a $900.00 chandelier to get the look. You can get a good faux antler wall mount for under $200 online. Same effect, easier on the wallet. Another way to replicate the look of this room is to hang velvety curtains. The texture is luxurious but they’re really inexpensive. If you have time, reupholster some seat cushions in the velvet fabric in a different jewel tone color.

Stolman & Young’s Contemporary Palm Beach Living Room

These interior designers know how to work with bright colors without overwhelming a room. Shades of yellow and aqua mix perfectly to capture the airy atmosphere of Palm Beach. The colors keep it cool while the accessories bring everything down to earth.

Keep things looking lively in your home by recreating this look by Stolman & Young. Keep the color on the walls and in accessories. By leaving the big furniture neutral, the room looks soft and relaxing rather than too bright. Recovering throw pillows with bright fabric is an easy way to update your living room. Paint a few items to match. In this case the lamps on either side of the sofa match the pillows. Pull the whole room together by framing a painting (or poster) that complements the colors you’ve chosen for the accessories in the room.

Adam Lippes’s Chic Dining Room

Sportswear designer Adam Lippes’s dining room is chic and uncomplicated much like his philosophy on clothing design. No need to clutter up the place, streamlined is the way to go. Grey walls and a decorative floral design keeps this minimalist room looking soft and pretty.

Recreate the look of Lippes’s dining room on a dime with these tips. Clear out any clutter in the room, the key here to keep it simple. A coat of grey paint paired with a vinyl sticker makes the same impression as hand painted wallpaper for much less! Add an organic shaped chandelier to echo the wall. Rouge Living offers a beautiful flower chandelier for under $100.00. Mix and match chairs from other rooms of your house for added interest to your dining room table. Complete the look with short vases of fresh flowers.

Jason Wu’s Cheerful Studio

Fashionistas like Ivana Trump, January Jones and First Lady Michelle Obama have been dressed by designer Jason Wu. Here, in the entrance to his cheerful NYC studio he allows art to shine through with an all-white palette. Pops of color on a blank canvas give make this a refreshing, inspirational space.

Wu’s space is easy to replicate because in this case, less is more. Start with a blank canvas. Keep color to an absolute minimum, using mostly metallics and neutrals. Get the look by neatly hanging some of your most treasured wardrobe pieces as art and to add color to the room. Add a graphic throw pillow for a punch of color on an otherwise muted couch. A lovely bunch of hydrangeas keeps the room feeling extra fresh and softens the stark white walls.


This article was written by Erie Construction. Follow Erie Construction on Twitter for updates on home improvement.

Photo Credit: Elle Decor