School's Out For the Summer!
Along with the warmer weather of summer in most cases also come extra expenses of summer. While you may budget your monthly expenses, it is also important to figure out what extra expenses you may have over the next few months and work them into your monthly budget instead of having to charge them.
Some examples of extra expenses are graduation and wedding gifts, summer vacation and kids activities. Graduation and wedding gifts can add up and if you have a number of weddings to attend you may have expenses besides the gifts such as travel, and extra clothing costs.
Especially, this year with other costs such as gas and food prices going up it is more important than ever to make room in your budget for the added expenses of summer activities. So, Before summer vacation burns a hole in your budget, take some time to plan ahead for those extra expenses
Here are some Budget friendly Summer ideas:
Let’s Go Camping! A mainstay for school-aged children is summer camps, whether a day camp or overnight, and these activities can be expensive. According to the American Camp Association, more than 11 million children and adults attend camps each year. The average cost for a summer day camp is $184 per day. It’s easy to see how this expense can quickly drain the household budget. Community organizations such as the YMCA or Boys and Girls Clubs of America often offer less expensive campoptions for kids. For information on camps, parents can visit http://www.acacamps.org/.
Fair weather sports. This is the time of year when people start participating in sporting activities, even those who aren’t avid sportsmen start participating in activities such as softball leagues, swim lessons and
golf. Be realistic and budget conscious when outfitting yourself, or your child with sports apparel. Check out a thrift store, online store (like Ebay) or a used sports equipment store to save money. Choose a local public course to do your fair-weather golfing. The grass may not be as green as professional courses, but you will keep more green in your pocket.
Gas prices are on the rise. Summer is the time of year when the price of gas goes up. Traveling consumers feel the impact when going on vacation, but they'll also notice the increased burden placed on the day-to-day budget. Faced with rising costs from other summer activities, higher gas prices have the ability to inflict pain on the wallet. So how do you prevent yourself from becoming one of the casualties of high gas prices? Pay attention to where and how you are driving. Plan out your day's
activities and combine trips when possible.
Let's have a party. Summer is a perfect time to gather friends and family, and celebrate the good weather and great food. Hosting a party however, can be expensive, when you factor in food, drink and other costs. When planning a party, involve your guests in menu planning. Ask friends to bring a dish to share to alleviate the burden on the host. You'll enjoy the extra savings, and the extra time with your guests.
Greener pastures. A brown lawn in the dead of summer? Heresy. It goes against the keystone of homeownership – keep your yard looking beautiful at all times. But showering your lawn with affection, and water, can quickly drive up utility costs. Consider watering half as much, and only turn on the
sprinkler in early morning or evening hours, instead of in the middle of the day. You'll maximize the impact and minimize the cost.
Go for a swim. Taking a dip in the neighborhood pool can also take a dip in your wallet. Instead of paying for costly club memberships, use the park district or local recreational center instead. The costs are often less and the instructors are every bit as qualified. If you are considering a pool membership, inquire about seasonal memberships, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, instead of paying all year long.
Taking a vacation. Don't let your summer trip take your budget for a ride. Think about alternatives. You can still do something memorable with a shortened vacation. Stay closer to home to save on travel expenses or, take a vacation that is just one or two nights away rather than a week-long expenditure. Bring groceries and cook on your own when possible to avoid costly meals at restaurants. Additionally, play tourist in your own hometown.
Talk to a budget expert. Summer activities can add up, and planning for those extra expenses can mean the difference between busting a budget and maintaining one. If you are struggling with current budgeting
expenses a Debt Relief Solutions Specialist can work with you to develop a game plan for your day to day budget and make room for summer fun.