Here comes the sun, warmer weather, family vacations, and lots of summer fun! Alleviate the fear that summer fun will break the bank by planning now! Here are some key tips to creating a fun-filled summer for you and your family that will play in your financial favor.
Establish a Budget
Sit down as a couple and as a family. Decide what activities you want to plan for this summer together, and get the kids involved. Is a family vacation important? Will the kids attend summer camps, sporting events, or summer concerts? What about day trips or amusement parks? Remember these activities do not have to break your budget.
With a little research online, you can find a wealth of information on free summer activities in the area or in your local community. Explore the offerings for free summer concerts in the park, local festivals, and church community carnivals. Think about outdoor activities that will not only be fun but will benefit your family’s health, such as walking in the park, bike riding, and hiking trails. A ton of free kids camps are offered at the local library or community center. Shop local: think local farmers markets and farm shares or Community Supported Agriculture Organizations (CSAs). These organizations and events not only help support local farmers and businesses, but they also are cost effective, and your family will get healthy, locally grown ingredients.
Get the family involved and donate
Search your house for unwanted, outgrown, or unused toys and clothing. They can be taken to consignment shops or donated to thrift stores or charities for a tax break. (Remember to obtain and save those receipts to claim the deductions.) This is a great way to get the whole family involved and get some healthy exercising in too! Another option is to host a yard or garage sale or get together with your neighbors to host a neighborhood or community sale.
Use travel online tools
Online tools and websites such as priceline.com, travelocity.com, and hotels.com are great resources for cost comparisons. Thinking about renting a house for the whole family rather than staying in a costly hotel? Websites such as Airbnb, Jetsetter, and Venere allow you to compare different options, locations, and price points. Also, when booking a hotel, think about locations that have kitchens to store breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Buying items in the local grocery store at your destination will save you from the costs of eating each meal out. Look for hotels that include free breakfast and snacks in the room rate.
Here’s to relaxing, embracing the sun, and having a financially FIT summer! Cheers!