Now that summer is here and the kids are out of school, you are probably looking for ways to save money. The good news is that it is possible to save money this summer if you plan ahead and consider what’s available for a low cost — or even for free.
1. Free Activities for the Kids
Sending the kids to the water park or taking them on a big vacation can get pricey. Instead, look around and see what’s available for free. Many libraries and zoos offer free reading programs and animal information sessions. Also, don’t forget about nationwide initiatives like Free Museum Day once a month.
You don’t have to limit yourself to free activities for the kids when you’re saving money this summer, either. Look for concerts in the park, and gallery walks. These can be great for kids, as well as for the adults.
Even if you can’t find a lot of free activities for the kids, there is the possibility that there are low-cost activities. Look for summer band programs through your school that might cost a fraction of private lessons, as well as low-cost workshops offered by local organizations.
2. Plan Staycations and Camping
You don’t need to go on a big summer vacation to make good memories. My son and I usually go camping three or four times a summer, including going with extended family. It’s an inexpensive way to have fun and make amazing memories.
Plan staycations as well. Sometimes we take a day trip to a nearby historical site. We pack a picnic and visit a waterfall a few hours away. It doesn’t cost very much, and it’s a great way to enjoy each other’s company and do something fun and out of the ordinary. At the very least, you can do something unusual like bring the laptop outside and stream a movie in a tent on the lawn or have a picnic on the living room floor.
3. Avoid Using the Air Conditioner as Much as Possible
One of the biggest money leaks you’ll have during the summer is the air conditioner. You can save money on utilities by doing what you can to make your home energy efficient and then running the air as little as possible. I usually open the windows at night and run fans to circulate the air. Then, first thing in the morning, I shut the windows while it’s still cool. It keeps the house manageable until mid to late afternoon. After that, we usually spend time downstairs, where it’s naturally cool.
You can also avoid using the air conditioner in your efforts at saving money this summer by leaving the house. If you have an inexpensive public pool, you can spend the hottest portion of your day there, or you can go to the mall (as long as you don’t spend your money buying things).
There are a number of tips and tricks that can help you avoid turning on the air conditioner for most of the day. I even find that going to the cheap movie theater once a week to stay out of the house costs less than running the air conditioner.
Combine different strategies, and you might be surprised at how much money you can save this summer.