Even though school summer breaks are just a distant memory for me, it’s still one of my favorite seasons, because I love the ragged-out, beach feeling, fireworks on the Fourth of July, and barbecues with corn-on-the-cob and watermelon. There’s nothing like it. Summer can also be a really expensive time of the year, because families are vacationing and parents are trying to keep their kids busy while they are out of school. With money being a littler tigher than usual right now, here are some tips for being more frugal during the summer while still having fun.
Family Dinners: Pick three or four family friends and start a family dinner night. If you have four families, then each family would cook once a week for the other three families. These are great nights for socializing and entertaining, because you can add a theme to your night and play board games or go out for dessert after dinner. You get a free dinner three days a month, and it’s something fun to do for free.
Create your own summer camp: If you live in a neighborhood with many stay-at-home parents, you can save a lot of money on summer camps by creating your own. Each stay-at-home parent would take the kids out to do something once a week. Choose a couple of free activities and a couple of activities that at a reasonable cost like a water park or the science museum.
Vacation within two hours of your house. You don’t need an elaborate vacation to have fun, and most people don’t need to travel far to find a great vacation destination. Rent a cabin at the nearby lake, a condo at the beach, or a hotel room in a city you’ve never visited before.
Ask your employer to work remotely during the summer. If most of your work is done on a computer and the phone, ask your employer if they will allow you to work from home for one or two days a week. This will cut down on costs for keeping your kids busy, and you’ll spend less money on gas and car maintenance. You’ll also be less stressed out during the summer!
Take advantage of local events and attractions. We often forgot about the vast array of local events and attractions that we pay for out of our taxes every year. Many towns, whether big or small, host many different summer events for the entire family. Local museums, libraries, and parks all have big things going on during the summer. Don’t forget about the little guy!