Summer is an expensive season of the year. Your family wants to go on a vacation and spend time doing activities. Families find themselves spending more money than they anticipated.
With proper planning and tricks for doing summer on a budget, you can make this the best and cheapest summer yet! Creating a budget that works for you is key. Let’s take a look at how to make that happen.
Before you create a budget for the summer, consider cutting your regular expenses so that you have more to spend throughout the summer. There are plenty of ways to cut costs from your budget!
- Work on reducing your grocery budget. Even if you shave $50 off of the budget, that adds up! Try adding a meatless meal option or two per week, use coupons as you can, and always look for clearance or markdown items.
- Carpool or combine errands to reduce how much you spend on gasoline. Gasoline is expensive! Pick one day a week to run all of those errands.
- Shop around for different home insurance quotes and vehicle insurance. Don’t just settle for the increases that seem to happen often. Shop around for different quotes, so you know that you are getting the best deal!
- Turn off the lights! If you aren’t in the room, turn off the lights to lessen your electricity bill.
Once you have a set budget, don’t assume you’ll stick to it easily. Sticking to a budget is most of the battle. It is crucial that you track all of your expenses. You might want to use a budgeting app on your phone, or some people prefer pen and paper. Pick what works for you!
Take Advantage of Cheap Activities
Summer might be expensive, but there are a plethora of cheap activities you can do throughout the summer. Vacations tend to be expensive, but that is only for a short week or two. You need activities throughout the entire summer! Here are some ideas.
- See a Movie at the Drive-In: If you don’t have a local drive-in, use a projector to have a movie in your backyard! You can invite all your friends and family over for a backyard movie.
- Go Fishing: If you have the gear, fishing is a rather inexpensive activity that is fun and keeps kids outside. Check local events for kid fishing days and fishing competitions.
- Catch Fireflies: Fireflies scream summer, and they are enticing for little kids. Let your children stay up past their bedtime and give them mason jars with holes in the lid for catching fireflies. They can make lanterns, but remember to let them go!
- Go to the Lake: If you don’t have a beach nearby, head to your local lake. Lakes are fun and give your kids the chance to swim and play in the water. Some lakes have sandy beaches, so build a sandcastle while you are at it!
- Play in the Sprinkler: Set up a sprinkler for your kids and send them outside to play! Kids love running through the sprinkler. You can even set up a Slip and Slide! They are cheap and last the entire summer. Make sure you have popsicles and towels ready.
- Have a Picnic: Picnics are easy to throw together. Have a picnic in your backyard or go to the lake and cook hot dogs on the grill while the kids play.
- Water Balloon Fight: Fill up a cooler of water balloons and surprise your kids with a battle outside. Don’t give them any warning of the impending attack.
Summer can be costly, but doing summer on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Whether you are heading to a park or sticking to your backyard, your family will have a summer to remember this year.