Can you believe that summer is already here?! Where has this year gone?? Summer is definitely one of my favorite seasons. Living in Florida, there are so many things that make this season enjoyable. I love the rainy afternoons, the trips to the beach and the summer barbecues that bring all your family and friends together. However, the summer months tends to be one of the most expensive times of the year for many families so here are some ways to enjoy those fun activities without breaking the bank.
Make a budget or adjust your budget.
- If you are a stay at home parent with kids on summer break, it can be so easy to spend above and beyond what your monthly income is. If you don’t already have a budget, now is a great time to make one. Sit down and figure out how you want your income distributed while still being able to save. What can you cut back on? Where are you willing to spend a little more? If you already have a budget in place, adjust it accordingly. Maybe you can stop going out to eat so often and cook more regularly at home, allowing your kids to help to avoid those “I’m bored!” moments. Creating or adjusting your budget will allow you the flexibility to spend your money doing activities with your kids without overspending. I highly recommend checking out everydollar.com – it is a great way to track your spending and help with your budgeting.
Plan in advance.
- Last minute plans are a budget breaker. At the beginning of the week, plan 2 or 3 activities that you and your family would like to do for the week and stick to that schedule. That way you know what you will be spending and can accommodate for those costs. If you have created your budget, you will be able to plan those activities accordingly. Now, if you are a last minute type of person, that’s ok too. Set aside a certain amount of money for your weekly activities. As last minute plans come up, you can participate but once that allowance is gone, say no or plan for the following week.
Enjoy the Outdoors!
- There is nothing better than being outside. It is a mood booster and a great way to exercise (without even realizing it). Load the kiddos up for a trip to the beach or the park. Let them get outside and run around. Too many kids these days are cooped up in classrooms only to come home and sit at a computer and play video games or watch TV. Let them get up and moving around. Who knows….you may even make some new friends! The best thing about the outdoors is ITS FREE! There is no better way to save money that not having to pay!
Start a garden.
- The summer weather is a great time to start a garden. Gardening can cut down on so many grocery expenses because fresh fruits veggies tend to cost more than prepackaged foods. Make a trip to your local home improvement store and pick up a pack of seeds and some seed starters! This can also be a great learning experience for kids. Set up some newspaper on a table, fill your seed starter tray with water according to the directions on the package, then add 2-3 seeds per seed pod. Once your sprouts reach a few inches tall, you can transplant them to your outdoor garden. Be sure to keep them hydrated! Especially in the hot sun! Before you know it, you will have fresh fruits and veggies ready to eat!
Close those blinds and adjust your thermostat.
- Chances are, wherever you live, it gets HOT during those summer months. Living in Florida, it can get brutal. An easy way to keep the heat out of your house is to keep your blinds and curtains closed. Having them open allows the heat to fill your home causing your AC to run constantly, keeping your blinds closed will keep a lot of the heat out and keep your bill lower. Also, adjusting your thermostat up a few degrees during the day will cut down on costs as well.
- Chances are, you will have some downtime this summer. Take a few hours or days and go through one room at a time. Sell things that you don’t need any more on the Facebook marketplace, Offerup or Letgo. That is an easy way to make a few extra bucks without the time and hassle of a garage sale and you will de-clutter, which makes everyone happy!
Find free or inexpensive community activities.
- During the summer, there tends to be quite a few free or inexpensive activities that you and your family can participate in. I recommend checking the Library first, often times, they have free classes or have a bulletin board with community info. Volunteering is another great way to get out of the house and doing something without having to spend money. Not only are you giving back to the community and people in need, you are able to save.
Find a pool!
- If you live anywhere is gets hot, chances are you have a pool or know someone who does. Ask them if you would be able to use the pool for a few hours during the day, they may be happy to have some company! If you don’t know anyone who has a pool or don’t feel comfortable asking, find a recreation center in your community that has a pool. Most places like that have a very inexpensive membership for the year and will give you something to do anytime you want to get out of the house. A membership to a rec center is WAY cheaper than spending money on theme park passes and will usually have sports and other activities to participate in.
Thanks so much for reading! What does your family do during the summer for fun? Have you found other ways to save money? Comment below!