Can you enjoy summer activities and still maintain your budget?
Yes! Even though it’s summer and the potential opportunities to overspend seem endless, it’s a good idea to continue to maintain your budget. By doing a little research and discussing the options with your family, you may be surprised at how many opportunities for low-cost summer fun there are in the community.
What’s on your summer bucket list?
Sit down with your family and come up with a list of things you would like to do this summer. Is there a place your family really wants to go? A weekend (or longer) trip you want to take?
Once you have your list, estimate the costs associated with each trip, event or activity, and talk through what options will fit into your summer budget. Maybe it’s one big trip and several local, free activities. Or maybe you take several shorter day trips instead of one longer, more expensive excursion.
How to find free summer activities
After you figure out your summer trips, you may still have some days to fill. There are a lot of fun activities you can do with your family that are free or low-cost.
Here are some resources to consider:
- Local colleges: Take a look at these websites for activities and events hosted by local schools. They often host activities that are open to the public and free.
- Libraries: Many community libraries have summer reading programs and other free activities, such as movie nights.
- Community summer concerts: Many cities, townships and counties host free concerts during the summer. Check parks and recreation sites for details.
- Farmers’ markets: These are free to attend and are a great source of fresh, local produce that is often sold at a lower cost than at grocery stores.
Look outside your door
There also are many activities you can do in your own backyard, spending little or no money. Here are a few ideas:
- Create bubbles
- Take a family walk or bike ride
- Play in the sprinkler
- Take a hike at a local park
- Make a time capsule
- Visit a beach
- Host a bake sale or lemonade stand
- Plan a game day or night
- Work on a puzzle
- Play outdoor games, such as tag or hide-and-seek
- Have a picnic
You can ensure this summer will be fun and affordable by finding activities everyone will enjoy. If you decide to take a trip, you can keep your wallet happy by planning ahead. To save for more extensive summer travels, consider opening a savings account and get the entire family involved in contributing to this goal. Michigan State University Federal Credit Union offers multiple ways to save money, including savings accounts that can be named for your goals, automatic transfers of funds into savings accounts and a mobile app to keep track of your savings. Give us a call, stop by any branch or visit msufcu.org to learn more.