The siren-song of summer is calling us to come out and play!
Now that the days are getting warmer and longer, you’ll probably be spending more money on entertainment and activities. But don’t let the added expense have you singing the blues.
We penned some budget-stretching tips to help you do more with less—ideas courtesy of Quicken Inc., Forbes Magazine and the LearnVest team of financial planners.
- When hosting family and friends for a summer bash, throw a potluck. It’s economical and a fun way to showcase recipes.
- Use credit-card miles for summer travel—then use the cash you save for extras, or pocket the savings for a fall or winter break.
- Each summer, buy one “must-have” entertaining tool like a good drinks blender or a portable ice maker. By adding gradually you’ll feel the expense less and get to try a new toy each year!
- If you have a yard or a patio garden, cut some flowers and foliage for table decorations when entertaining. It adds a bit of magic to the table without the added expense.
- Take advantage of free/low-cost summer concerts, movies and plays put on by your town council. Local malls and restaurants may also sponsor live music.
- Pack your own snacks for the family road trip. If you take a lot of mini excursions or day trips, the high cost of buying snacks at convenience stores or the gas station mini-mart add up quickly. Keep the kids happy by making a supermarket run prior to setting out.
- Now that school’s out, video games are a larger part of the daily routine and a greater expense. Save big by buying less and switching to a subscription service like GameFly instead. You’ll pay a set price for a fixed number of games, and when one game is finished, just substitute for another.
- Stock up on winter clothes while they’re still on sale. Summer’s a great time to take advantage of winter clothing discounts, which also extend to winter accessories including gloves and boots.
- Don’t floor the accelerator. In summer we’re all in a hurry to “get there,” but a few minutes faster is a lot more expensive. At 85 miles an hour, you’ll burn up 15%-30% more gas than at the speed limit—not to mention the odds of a costly ticket if you’re caught speeding.
- And we’ve saved the best advice for last. DON’T forget to set an annual summer-fun budget so you know exactly how much you can afford. Then save with small deductions from each paycheck over the course of a year.
Editor’s note: A Credit Union Savings Club Account is a painless, automatic way to save while accruing interest! Start saving today.