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Keep Your Cool This Summer with These Thrifty Tips

Coming up with activities to fill the Summer months can seem daunting in and of itself, add in the additional stress of figuring out how to pay for everything, and you might quickly find yourself overwhelmed. Not to worry! We’ve put together a few ideas to get the ball rolling on how to enjoy Summer without the added stress of constant spending and unnecessary debt.

    1. Whenever possible, DIY!
      Not only are DIY projects a good way to pass the time, but if you plan things out properly, they can help you save exponentially over time. Homemade popsicles, tie-dye, and arts and crafts are a few great launching-off points for your Summer DIY fun. Project materials can usually be picked up at the local dollar store and repurposed for other projects all summer long.


    1. Camping
      Camping equipment can be quite expensive! Add on the necessity to rent a camp space, and gas to get there, you can spend a lot of money before you even set foot on a campground. At home, camping is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors, without busting your budget. All you need is a backyard, a tent and some blankets, and most importantly, supplies for s’mores! Plus, without the additional chore of packing and unpacking the car, you’ll have more time for fun and games such as corn hole, ladders, or good ole fashioned tag.If you do have your heart set on camping away from home this summer you can use a booking site such as Campspot or Pitchup which can make it easier to find smaller, under-the-radar campgrounds. Or you can use Tentrr,  which provides you the option to book a fully equipped campsite – eliminating the need to spend money on equipment you may only use once or twice a year.


    1. Scope out Deals
      In the summer months, many local businesses will offer special Summer rates, which will usually be promoted via social media pages. In addition, discounts will sometimes be offered to students and teachers of local school districts. Be sure to follow your local movie theatres, swimming pools, zoos, and aquariums to stay up to date on specials and promotions, and, don’t be afraid to ask about what discounts might be available. Additionally, many museums across the country offer free admission or reciprocal membership programs that allow you to visit a whole network of museums all under one membership. The North American Reciprocal Museum Association counts over 1,000 institutions as part of their network which includes not just museums but botanical gardens, historical institutions, and science and technology centers as well.


    1. Movie night at home
      Too hot to go outside and truly not interested in spending any money? Why not a lazy day at home with a movie marathon. Make it special with movie theatre-style snacks and lighting and cozy up for a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings marathon movie session.


    1. Dine at home
      The advice to eat out less to save money is nothing new, but the Summer months provide a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while enjoying some homecooked food. If you have a balcony or patio, try stringing up some lights to set a restaurant-like mood, put on some music and use the fancy plates. The more decorations you can incorporate to make the atmosphere feel special the better. Bonus points if you add in homemade desert!


  1. Travel Smart
    As we talked about in last week’s blog article, Freedom From Debt This Summer, being on a budget doesn’t have to mean you can’t build in room for non-necessities such as travel this summer. But if you want to maximize your budget you’ll have to do your due diligence when it comes to finding deals.Many travel experts suggest using the summer to travel to big cities such as NYC or DC, which tend to be less popular in the summer months and therefore have lower than average rates. If you do have your heart set on the beach, it can be done! Travel experts suggest being open to traveling last minute and keeping an eye on the websites of tourism and chamber of commerce offices in target destinations, which will sometimes share links for last-minute lodging deals.

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