Happy Summer Everyone! This week is the official start to the summer season and I can’t wait to go to the beach and be kissed by the sun! With the gorgeous weather and all the fun activities going on, the last place I want to be after 5pm is at my desk. Cocktail anyone? Luckily, I work for a company that believes in work/life balance – we work hard and we play hard. And although I want to make this a summer to remember, I don’t want to be broke, in debt, or over-budget by the end of it. So I started to think about different ways I could enjoy summer with out spending a whole lot of money. I am definitely working on my budget and activity plans because I don’t want labor day to come and I haven’t been to the beach once or to a concert in the park.
Everyone wants to enjoy their summer, but not everyone wants to go broke while enjoying it. There are plenty of things to do that are inexpensive, you just need to sit and do a little research and planning. Here are my five tips for an inexpensive summer full of fun:
Create a budget
This is the most important tip, because without one you might not realize you have spent too much until it is too late. Knowing how much you have to spend allows you to spread your funds across a lot of different events. Having a budget also forces you to get creative with your planning and ideas. Lastly, make sure your budget is realistic. Nothing ruins plans more than not having enough funds to cover the cost. Or realizing your budget is going to run out only two weeks into summer.
Look at your community calendar
If you are looking for inexpensive fun, a community calendar is a great place to look. Normally this is a website and it tells you all the events that are going on in your community. Some calendars will be more detailed than others and could include the audience of the event, the time and the cost of the event. However, most community events tend to be free entry for the public and than you have to pay for food and activities.
Make use of free resources
Making use of your surroundings will help keep you entertained while keeping cost down. If you live near a beach or park, you can plan a day at the beach with your family or a picnic in the park. If you have a bike or pair of roller blades, dust them off and get out and get moving. You will get to enjoy the weather and scenery while burning a few calories.
Also if you have a nice backyard, you can plan a nice dinner for two or have a games night outside a few times. This way you can enjoy the outdoors without actually leaving your home. You could also rent movie, buy your favorite wine and snacks and have a movie night.
Stimulate your mind.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste, right? To keep your mind sharp and focused visit your local library. This will give you access to the books that you are interested in without having to buy them and you can always check a book out again if you want to reread it. If books aren’t your thing, you can always visit an art gallery. Everyone has different ideas of art and beauty, so visiting one is a great cultural experience.
If you have little ones you can plan a day at the aquarium or museum. If you chose to spend the day there, make sure you take your lunch and snacks with you. That way you are saving money on food and only have to pay for admission into the building.
Check out specialty nights.
There are restaurants and pubs that have trivia night, karaoke night or wing night. These nights tend to be a lot of fun and you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy yourself. There is a restaurant here, that has a specific night for $1 wings. The catch is you have to buy a pitcher of beer. But if that is your thing, that could be a good night out with your friends.
When that movie you really want to see comes out, go on the day that the theater has a discount. One of the theaters here has $6 Tuesday, which is 50% off. If I were to go to see a movie, I would go on Tuesday and bring my own candy and an empty water bottle (I might buy popcorn).
What are your plans for summer? Are you trying to have fun on a budget too? What are your tips to save on summer fun?