What do you associate with summer? Parties? Vacations? Play time? There’s no shortage of things to enjoy in the warmer months, the tricky part is keeping it all within the budget. Here are some ways to enjoy the next few months without doing any serious spending damage.
1. Get Out! Sunshine, a light breeze, nature, it’s all free. Sit outside with a book or a glass of lemonade, soak up the vitamin D, and simply enjoying being in summer. After the epic winter we’ve had, it shouldn’t be too hard.
2. Get Physical. Run, walk, bike, hike, swim. There’s no shortage of ways to stay active in the summer, and most can be done at no or minimal cost. Look up recommended trails, discover a new biking route, or sign up for a race with friends!
3. BBQ. There’s nothing like a good barbecue to capture the spirit of summer. Firing up the grill is also a great way to spice up your typical dinner time routine and get excited about eating in (and save money by not eating out).
4. DIY. Get to work on all your DIY projects- from starting a garden to painting the house. The long days and lovely weather make for great outdoor working conditions.
5. Discover New Places and Spaces. I live in New York City so I’m all about using the warm days to casually stroll around new neighborhoods and be a tourist in my own town. Discovering new spaces like beautiful community gardens and restaurants with killer lunch or drink specials is an added bonus to my mindless meandering.
6. Go Camping. You can keep it simple and spend the night stargazing and snoozing in your back yard or plan a trip to a nearby campsite or one of the fabulous National Parks, aka. Mother Nature’s theme parks, which are a whole lot cheaper than the “real” ones.
7. Join a Sports League. Kids do it, why not you? Some friendly competition through an intramural sports league- baseball, touch football, soccer, volleyball, whatever floats your boat- is a great way to get outside, active, and social on a budget. Triple whammy!
8. Hit the Beach. Pack a towel, magazines, maybe a volleyball, and some lunch and you can spend the whole day lounging for the cost of gas and parking. You don’t need to pay for a plane and an all inclusive resort to enjoy a relaxing sand and sun soaked afternoon.
9. Visit Friends and Family. Especially the ones who have nice yards and pools 🙂 Like I said, I’m a city gal, so getting out of town into some green is always a welcome retreat. My parents live in the burbs and summer is the perfect time to plan a visit and spend the day lounging by the pool.
10. Check the Community Calendar. From free movie screenings, to free outdoor fitness classes, to free public concerts in the park, free and affordable programming is abundant in the warmer months. Check the website of your town hall or library or simply Google free activities in (insert home town here) to see what’s coming up near you!
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Personal Capital is a FREE tool that will allow you to connect to all of your accounts like your bank, investment accounts, etc. This will not only help you see all of your accounts in one place, but it also has a budgeting component where it automatically categorizes your transactions.