Personal Finance
June 22, 2015

5 Ways to Stay on Budget this Summer

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

The call of the sun and the sand is hard to resist, and so is the urge to blow your budget on vacations and weekends out on the town. Budget your money wisely so you can have fun all summer without emptying your bank account.

Knowledge is half the battle – the financial battle, that is. Keep your budget right at your fingertips with a budget app such as LearnVest or BillGuard. Crunch the numbers while munching on nachos at your favorite sporting event, and know when you have spent enough. As a bonus, you will be able to see how much you have saved in your Hawaiian vacation savings account, spurring you to stick to your summer budget.

Do not rely on your credit card to keep your budget in check. It’s too easy to just charge it and spend more than you realize during the weekend. Instead, decide how much you want to spend before going out, and pull the cash straight out of your account. Once it is gone, you will have no choice but to pack it in and plan some more summer fun for next payday.

Aimless wandering through the city will likely lead you to some fun times, though they may not always fit within your budget. Plan your trips, large or small, in advance by searching for the best deals online. Some hotels offer online-only rates, and there are often some great date-night coupons on daily deal sites like Groupon. It is much easier to stick to a budget when you have an idea of how much things are going to cost, so check out your favorite restaurant’s menu in advance.

Check the local events calendar where you live, as many of the best events are free, such as renaissance fairs and music in the park. Many other outdoor activities are low-cost, or free, after buying necessary equipment, such as fishing or boating. Pack your cooler full of drinks and snacks, and you won’t have to seek out a costly restaurant afterward.

Can everyone say road trip? With gas prices high during the summer, combine resources with family and friends by taking a vacation together. Splitting the cost four or more ways is sure to save you money overall, and you will get that one-on-one bonding time you have been looking for.

A budget-friendly summer does not mean you will stay cooped up in the house. Stick to your limits, seek out low-cost activities and share expenses to have a memorable summer.

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