Summer is a fun time of the year. Kids are out of school, and many of us plan some sort of vacation. However, summer can also get expensive. If you don’t have a plan, the costs can add up fast.
If you don’t want your summer spending to get out of control, here are some strategies that can help:
Embrace the Staycation
Rather than spending lots of money on a big vacation, consider the staycation. A staycation can cost a lot less, and introduce you to surprisingly fun and affordable activities in your own backyard. My family is big on staycations during the summer. We take day trips to local historical sites or make use of hiking trails, or we go camping. Camping is a great staycation, especially for those who enjoy the outdoors.
You can even stay in a hotel. Plan to go overnight to a town two hours away. Stay in a cheap hotel with a pool and a complimentary breakfast. Find an inexpensive local activity. Do your activity, and then hang out by the hotel pool. It’s simple, cost-effective, and fun.
Start a Garden
Gardening a great summer activity. You can use your garden to be active, and provide you with something to do. Your kids can even get involved. My son loves helping with the garden. He is even in charge of the zucchini, and takes pride in doing a good job. Plus, he likes to make zucchini bread at harvest time.
Not only can gardening give you something fun and frugal to do over the summer, but it can also save you money on food. Toward the end of the summer, you don’t even have to buy fresh produce. Plus, you can preserve the extra yield to save money on groceries during the winter.
Look for Free Activities
Many cities offer free activities during the summer. Take advantage of these resources. Your local library is a good place to start. Many libraries offer summer reading programs and other activities for the kids. You can also pick up books, movies, and other entertainment for a low cost — or even for free. Pay attention to nature walks, free concerts, gallery walks, summer fairs and festivals, and other events. Many communities offer these activities as part of civic engagement. They can help you add culture to your life, while saving you money.
Also, don’t forget about low-cost things you can do on your own. Bike rides, picnics, and outdoor games can be a lot of fun. My son and I have a kite we like to use on windy days. He also builds model rockets, so it’s fun to make a day of it and go to a big park where he can launch the rocket, and we can have a picnic. Then, he can play on the playground afterward.
With a little creativity, it’s possible to find plenty to do this summer without spending a lot of money. From meal planning to staycations, you can make great memories as a family without breaking the bank.
What are your favorite inexpensive summer activities?