How sunshine makes you richer

Ways the sun is good for your wealth as well as your happiness…

Make hay while the sun shines, goes the adage. So here are some ways to cut back on your spending with the help of that unfamiliar ball of light in the sky:

Outdoors is cheaper than a sports centre

Never pay to visit a leisure centre when the sun is shining; the outdoors is a far more pleasant place to exercise. Go for a jog, ride or walk around your town or interval training in the park.

Perhaps you’re lucky enough to live near free outdoor gym equipment. Some councils have invested in equipment from firms like the Great Outdoor Gym Company, which builds robust, outdoor public gyms. You can see if there’s one near you using the company’s Find-a-Gym tool.

Fresh-Air Fitness also create outdoor gyms and you can find your nearest on its website.

You could even go swimming outdoors for free, in natural water rather than a pool. There’s a map of suitable spots on the Outdoor Swimming Society’s website.

Only go if you’re a confident swimmer and make sure you read the society’s tips for safe swimming before you go.

Hang out your washing

Nothing says summer like freshly-laundered sheets hanging out on the line. Sadly there’s been little chance to use the washing line so far this year.

But now that’s changed, there’s no excuse for using the tumble dryer. The company Appliance Online worked out that an average household doing four laundry loads a week could be spending up to £165 a year running the tumble dryer.

While that cost comes down for more efficient machines with smaller capacities, if the sun is shining then it’s still wasted money.

Get into the garden and hang your washing up. If you don’t have a garden, make use of a balcony, or just open the windows and let the air flow around your clothes horse. It will save you money.

Easy to entertain the kids

Forget swimming pools, cinemas and ice rinks, the sun makes entertaining the kids for free easy.

Kick them outdoors for some old-fashioned fun in the sun. There’s lots for them to get up to in the sunshine, from water fights to building dens to simply messing around.

If you want to give them some direction, you can take them on bike rides, long walks, treasure hunts in the forest – when the sun shines there is simply no need to pay for entry to an indoor activity.

You can also read our article Cheap and unusual ways to entertain the kids for some free outdoors fun.

Holiday in the UK

The sun has arrived just in time for the school holidays. If you’ve been wondering whether or not to book an overseas holiday then now’s the time to do so. The sun means more people are willing to stay in the UK so you could find there’s not as much competition for the last-minute deals.

You may even want to reconsider booking a last-minute foreign holiday yourself. When the sun is shining, a week’s holiday at home taking time to enjoy the best bits of your area (or visiting family and friends) can be great fun and save you money on hotels and eating out.

Just plan day trips every day – you’ll be amazed at the number of weird and wonderful attractions there are in the UK. Having said that, London might be a bit full from this weekend!

Eat out… Outside that is

Whether you’re a couple, a family or single, sometimes it’s fun to skip cooking and head out to a restaurant for a special meal. But meals out can be expensive, so when money is tight they are usually one of the first things to go.

But a picnic always feels like a treat when the sun is shining, and it can be really cheap to put together. Make some sandwiches, bake a cake and pack a rug. The blue sky and green grass is far more pleasant than any restaurant could be.

Get out and sell off your junk

Britons love a bargain almost as much as the sunshine, so when the weather’s good the car-boot sales are packed.

So, now’s a good time to declutter the house, and sell off any unwanted possessions. You can even encourage the kids to go through their old toys and games, and sell any they no longer play with.

A car-boot sale can be great fun and keep the kids happy for the day, as well as clearing out the house and earning some cash. Making hay when the sun shines indeed.