Summertime can be a great time to do fun things – to travel, spend time with your family, and explore the outdoors. But doing so often comes at a price. Here’s how to enjoy summertime without taking a huge hit to your wallet in the process.
One of the easiest ways to save money on just about anything is to plan ahead. That’s because last-minute tends to equal pricey. You often pay a premium for convenience. But with a little planning you can scope out some great deals.
For example, want to keep the kids busy? Movie theaters often have summer deals where kids can see a movie every week for just a few bucks. Just sign up for a summer pass.
Other places, like museums, often have free days or times. Just call or check out their website to find out. Restaurants may have early bird menus for everyone or discounts for kids on particular days. There’s no reason you can’t take advantage of these options with a little pre-planning.
Take advantage of local resources
Most cities and towns offer a variety of ways to save money on things around town. Check community centers, offers in your utility bill, the library, and your town’s website for programs and offerings. Some libraries even allow you to “check-out” tickets to local attractions so that you can attend them for free. If you love going to a particular attraction, an annual pass can be a great way to save.
There may also be discounts for local residents to big events or area attractions that nonresidents would pay more for, so don’t pay extra to if you don’t have to. If you’re a member of the military, eligible for senior or student rates, or part of a group that offers discounts, take advantage of those too. When all else fails, just ask how you can get a discount. You might be surprised at how many places provide one.
Of course there are always plenty of free things to do in general. It’s just a matter of discovering of them. Think back to what you loved to do as a child, and you’ll likely come up with activities that are actually enjoyable at all ages. (Who doesn’t love a squirt gun fight on a hot day, or a walk somewhere interesting?)
Other classic options include:
- board games
- crafts made from items you already have on hand (search Pinterest for the items you’ve got to be inspired)
- a movie on TV + popcorn
- breakfast for dinner
- grilling at a local park
- camping out in the living room or backyard
- playing tourist your own area
- potlucks with friends and neighbors
Whatever you do this summer, put the money you’ve saved toward one of your goals. Meanwhile, enjoy the summer while knowing you aren’t breaking the bank.
Jackie Beck is the author of The Debt Myth. She also loves travel, travel, and working on the house.