The original post can be found here: Debt Free
The summer season is upon us. Kids are getting out of school, vacations are being planned and water parks are beckoning. But For many Americans, as temperatures begin to rise, so do their credit card balances. Family vacations, summer camp, higher food bills, updating wardrobes and high electric bills can drain a checking account faster than a kiddie pool with a hole in it. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
While summer should be a season of family fun, it doesn’t have to break the bank. If you are working to become debt free, save your emergency fund or just want to keep a rein on your spending, here are some tips to help keep you on track. They may not seem like huge changes, but these little things can add up to big savings. And just think…how much more fun and stress-free will next summer be if you are debt-free and have an emergency fund?
Enjoy Your Town For Free
There’s no need to travel abroad for your summer fun. Most cities host free concerts, festivals and other events throughout the summer. With a little research, you may find the free event that will be the highlight of your summer. Without traveling far, your family may be able to enjoy outdoor movie nights, fireworks shows, concerts, museum days, library events and a lot more.
Pack Your Lunch
It’s almost always more healthy and less expensive to make a meal yourself than to eat out. Instead of going out, bring your lunch to work, organize a potluck or have a family picnic in the park. If you’re going on a road trip or to an event, pack a cooler to take with you. If you’re staying at a hotel, make sure to book a room with a microwave and a fridge. That way you can bring your own food and avoid the restaurant rip-off.
Fire Up The Grill
Using your oven and stove creates a lot of extra heat inside your home. Take your meal plan to the grill. You can enjoy delicious food and keep your home cooler. Get your family together for an evening barbecue. it will be fun, delicious and it will save money on your electricity bill.
Have Fun At Home
Instead of forking over big bucks at the movies or water parks, be creative and have fun in your own home. Buy popcorn, snacks and rent a movie for an inexpensive movie night. Fire up the sprinklers and break out the slip n’ slide. Have a potluck and game night with your friends.
Ditch Your Car
This may not work for everyone. But with rising gas prices and nice weather, how much money could you save if you walk, bike or carpool to work? This takes some adjustment and planning. But you will save money, enjoy good conversation and get in a good work out.
Start Planning Your Spending
If you aren’t operating on a monthly cash-flow plan (budget), now is the perfect time to start. Before you can blink it will be time to buy new school clothes and supplies, Halloween costumes and then Christmas presents. Start planning for how you are going to spend your money. Write it out and agree on it with your spouse. When you do…you’ll actually have some! And having a plan actually gives you more freedom and peace.
With a little research, planning and creativity you can have a fantastic summer, avoid debt and save a pile of money.
Summer Money-Saving Tips
June 9th, 2011 at 09:01 am