Tag Archive for Summer Vacation

5 Ways to Avoid Overspending During the Summer

5 Ways to Avoid Overspending During the Summer

5 Ways to Avoid Overspending During the SummerIf there is one time of year that is harder on your budget than all the rest, it has to be summer. Okay, so maybe the holiday season would have something to say about that, but the point stands ? summer can be rough on a family living on a budget.

With the sun out and endless activities available to enjoy, it is tempting to blow through your budget in the name of a good time with family and friends.

So, how do you stay on the right financial track while still enjoying life? We hope the follow tips help you during the coming summer.

1. Get Outside ? for Free

One of the best things about the summer is the great weather, and you shouldn?t have to spend a single penny to enjoy it. Look for parks and other local attractions which are free to enter and you can have plenty of fun under the sun. Even if you have trouble finding completely free attractions, parks passes and the like are typically quite affordable and can provide you with entertainment all summer long.

2. Travel Closer to Home

Taking vacations is a common activity in the summer months, and going away with your family certainly is a chance to make some great memories. However, traveling long distances can get expensive in a hurry. The transportation cost is usually one of the biggest expenses related to a vacation, so consider looking for destinations which are closer to home. Or, you can opt for a staycation. You can still have a great time, and you will be doing your budget a favor in the process.

3. Pack Your Food

If you are going to be out and active during the summer, you can cut down on your expenses by packing your food in some instances. Heading out to the park or beach for the day? Take a picnic lunch rather than hitting up a local fast food spot. These might seem like simple things at the time, but the savings can add up in a big way over the course of a summer.

4. Stay Busy During the Week

If your work situation allows, try to enjoy some of your summer fun during the weekdays rather than on the weekends. Nearly everything is more affordable during the week, and things will be less crowded as well. It might not always be possible to avoid weekend activity, but do your best to pick out non-peak times as a money saving tactic.

5. Stick to the Basics

Don?t lose track of your standard monthly budget when the summer rolls around. Yes, you will probably be out having more fun than you do in the winter, but that doesn?t mean you can afford to throw your budget limitations out the window. Do your best to plan some summer activities within the construct of your standard budget. You will be rewarded for this discipline when September rolls around and your bank account remains in good condition.

 

How do you have fun and save money in the summer? Do you have trouble sticking to your budget in the summer?

 

Photo courtesy of: Pexels

7 Fun and Free Summer Activities for the Whole Family

7 Fun and Free Summer Activities for the Whole Family

7 Fun and Free Summer Activities for the Whole FamilyLooking to have some fun this summer? You aren?t alone ? most people wait all year for summer to arrive so they can get outside and enjoy recreation with family and friends.

Unfortunately, that fun doesn?t always come free, as there are frequently costs associated with summer activities. So how do you make sure that your family doesn?t go broke while trying to enjoy the summer? Free summer activities are a great place to start. The list below includes seven ideas for free and enjoyable summer activities.

Take a Hike

Most kids love the outdoors, and fresh air is good for adults as well. Look for hiking trails in your area which are free to use and pack up the family for a fun day outside. You may need to purchase a few supplies before getting started ? such as a backpack and appropriate shoes ? but you can use those items over and over again.

Camping ? in the Yard

If your kids can?t wait to get out for a camping trip, consider pitching a tent in the backyard for a stay-home night outdoors. As long as you have a suitable yard in a quiet neighborhood, this can be great fun without costing you a single penny.

Free Museum Days

When the weather turns sour, you may need to find something to do indoors. Check around with your local museums to find out if and when they offer free admission days. Or, at the very least, find ones which are affordable and offer free entry to kids.

Local Parks

The parks system offered by your city or county is a great way to get outside during the summer months. You should be able to find a list of parks and amenities on the website of each local municipality. Kids are great at being creative, so you should be able to have fun even if the park is little more than some open space.

City Events

Many cities put on events during the summer months, such as outdoor movies or festivals based around a specific local theme. Check the calendar for events in your area and consider getting involved. Whether you decide to volunteer or just attend when the event takes place, your family could use this time to have fun without dipping into the budget in any significant way.

Play Sports

Adults and kids alike can get into the fun of playing sports, especially when those sports are free of charge. As long as you have a park nearby, you should be able to find places to play soccer, baseball, basketball, and more.

Have Fun Around the House

Most people today lead busy lifestyles which offer very little in the way of downtime. When you do get some time to just spend with your family, don?t feel compelled to go out and do something ? consider just staying home. You will be surprised at how many things you can find to do at home, including watching movies, playing in the yard, cooking together, and more.

There are lots of ways for the whole family to have fun this summer. If you find yourself with spare time, give one of these free summer activities a try.

 

What are your favorite free summer activities? What do you do for fun with your family?

 

Photo courtesy: rudyanderson

How to Save on Your Last Minute Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Summer VacationBelieve it or not, sometimes waiting until the last minute can be the best way to score deals on your summer vacation. If you keep your mind open as to where you want to go, you?ll likely be surprised at where you can go relatively cheaply.

We love to travel in our family and usually like to plan those trips out. However, there is something to be said of being spontaneous and going on a last minute summer vacation. With that in mind, I?ll show you how to find cheap vacation packages if you are scrambling to come up with a destination. If none of those interest you, I can still provide you a plan B option that will allow you to visit virtually anywhere in the U.S. for pennies on the dollar.

Find a Cheap Luxury Vacation

If you aren?t one that likes to lie on the ground and gaze at the stars above you, then I?m guessing that you?d rather stay in a nice hotel. Well, if you wait until the last minute, you just might be able to find a great deal on an entire hotel or cruise package. Though this may not always be the case, it can be a great way to save money when it works out in your favor.

You see, hotels and cruises are typically not packed at full capacity from day to day (even though they?d like to be). By waiting till the last minute, you could show up to the hotel with bags in hand and offer to rent one of their rooms that are currently earning nothing. To them, renting a $200 room out for $100 – $125 is still a win because it was just sitting there empty before you came! They would much rather earn $100 than $0.

I have seen a friend of mine use this tactic several times. Often, they give him an amazing deal, but if they don?t then he leaves and goes somewhere else. It is important to remember though that there is a risk associated with this, so make sure you keep that in mind before planning on using this as a way to save on your summer vacation.

Cruises operate much in the same way. They absolutely hate leaving the dock with a ship that?s only half full. They would rather give you a 75% off stay on their ship than to leave the room empty the whole trip. There are various websites that you can track to find those kind of deals; I typically just use sites like Kayak or Travelocity myself. The thing to remember with this though is that you may also be dealing with a short timeframe to get to your destination.

The Cheap Alternative for a Summer Vacation

If you actually don?t mind the outdoors and like to go camping, then I would encourage you to travel around the U.S. with some hiking boots, a blanket, and a tent. You would be amazed how relatively cheaply you could travel by seeing all the sites, but then setting up a tent for the night.

In a rustic campground, you could get away with a $5 stay (believe me, I know people who have done it). By purchasing your food from the local grocery store, instead of expensive restaurants, you can save money on dining while also eating healthy too.

For this method to work really well, it works best to have a fuel efficient car. My wife and I drive a Nissan Altima which allows us to get roughly 500-550 miles per tank which cuts down on our gas costs quite a bit. If we had a less fuel efficient car that would impact your cost quite a bit and possibly not make the trip worthwhile. That said, if you can do it for cheap it can be a great way to take a small summer vacation and not bust your budget in the process.

 

 

What tips do you have to save on a last minute summer vacation? Do you prefer to plan your trips out, or be completely spontaneous?

 

 

Photo Courtesy: sparkleplenty_fotos