Is your budget looking a little tight this summer? You may think that you have no extra money for expensive summer entertainment. However, if you do some research and think outside of the box, you will find that there are many things you and your family can do this summer on a small budget. Consider some of these ideas:
Save Money On Local Entertainment
If you are hoping to visit some different entertainment venues this summer, such as theme parks, water parks and movie theaters, do not wait to purchase your tickets at the window when you arrive. There are a number of ways you can save on your tickets before you go. Check your local wholesale clubs or supermarkets for discounted gift cards to your desired venue. Many times, you will notice a 10-15 percent discount when you purchase the gift cards, rather than use them to pay for your tickets.
Another way to save money is to purchase season passes to places you know you would like to visit more than once. For instance, if your local water park charges $39 per adult and $20 per child, the cost for a family of five would be $132 for one visit. However, if the same park charges a flat fee of $49 per person for a season pass, it will cost you $245 to go as many times as you like. For an additional investment of $113, you can go have fun as much as you want instead of just once.
Also check your local movie theaters for one-dollar days, specials at the bowling alley, or skating rink. Almost all of these venues will provide some type of discount during the week.
Search for Free or Low-Cost Activities
If you cannot afford to spend a large amount of money on summer activities, but you still want to get out of the house, there are a ton of fun and inexpensive things you can do.
Pack a nice lunch and head to the park. As a bonus, try to go to a park that has a splash pad that the kids can play in to cool off. This only costs you the food you bring and a bit of gas money to drive to the park.
Visit a state park. State parks are very inexpensive to get in for a day. They typically charge per vehicle, which is a small flat rate for everyone in the vehicle. There is typically a limit of four to six passengers, so you may have to pay a bit more if you have many people in the car with you. State parks have a variety of attractions, depending on which one you visit. They all typically have nature trails to walk, lakes to swim in, and splash parks to play in. You also can ask to use a fire pit and roast marshmallows as the sun begins to set.
If you do not want to drop any money at the movie theater, have a fun summer movie night at home. You can often find Redbox codes for free rentals. You can pick a new movie, pop some popcorn, bake some cookies, and enjoy a family movie for almost no money at all.
Camping is also another low cost option, especially if you already have the equipment. Instead of paying campground fees, just camp in your own yard. You can roast hot dogs, tell ghost stories, play with light sticks from the dollar store, and play in the sprinklers before the sun goes down.
Summer Vacation on a Shoestring
For some families, summer just isn’t summer until they go on vacation. If your budget is tight, however, you may think a vacation is completely out of the question. Actually, you can have a very nice trip for a fairly small investment, as long as you are open-minded about where you want to go and what you want to do.
Wherever you decide to go, the first thing you need to consider is lodging. Instead of a standard hotel, which only provides a small place to sleep and take care of basic daily needs, consider renting a small house or condominium. If you search hard enough, particularly in peak seasons, you will find that the prices for these units are competitively priced with hotels. These units have much more space, including kitchen spaces that allow you to cook most, if not all, of your meals while you are on vacation, a significant cost savings. Consider traveling with another family or families so that the cost of the unit can be divided.
By putting some of these ideas into place this summer, there is no doubt that you can have a lot of fun and entertainment on a meager budget.