For many Americans, summer vacation often comes with a price tag that wrecks their savings plans. Maybe you can relate?
Perhaps if you have recently filed for bankruptcy to free yourself from a tough financial situation (for practical info, see https://www.getfreeofbills.com). Or you’re paying off student loans, a mortgage, or last year’s summer vacation extravaganza.
You may feel torn between your desire to have fun, yet also keep summer spending in check. Good news for you: Your summer doesn’t need expensive experiences for you to have a ball. It simply takes replacing certain activities that aren’t worth the price tag with others that are.
Here are the activities to skip, plus the ones that will give you the most enjoyment for your money.
1. Skip dining out. Recreate a gourmet experience at home.
You consider yourself a foodie and you love to eat out at every opportunity. You are not alone. According to government stats, the average household in the US spent $2787 on eating out in a year. This figure wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for other stats that tell us most Americans have less than $1000 in savings.
Your savings should never be at the mercy of your dining-out bill. But just because you skip dining out doesn’t mean you have to forgo your love of food. Use this summer to finally learn how to prepare lobster, or the perfect steak, or homemade ice-cream!
2. Forget the water park. Hit the beach waves.
Paying for an amusement park might be something your younger self did in order to have fun. But now that you are older (and wiser), you know that you bring the fun with you.
Avoid the overcrowded water park that has all sorts of germs lurking in its waters. And choose a glorious day at the beach instead. Beaches come with the calming and soothing sound of waves and the fresh sea air, which is the heart and soul of summer days.
3. Skip the trip. Explore the stay-cation concept.
According to a survey hosted by Magnify Money, 1 in 5 vacationers will go into credit card debt to pay for their summer trips. Interestingly, 31 percent of those surveyed said they felt pressured to go on vacation, even though they would rather not.
Don’t let the fear of missing out or the desire to look good on Instagram lead to spending on a trip you can’t afford. Instead, tell those who ask that you indulged in a stay-cation.
4. Avoid the mall. Embrace the outdoors and get fit.
Do you only go to the mall for the air conditioning, but then wind up spending due to summer sales that you can’t avoid and enticing ice-cream flavors yet to be tasted? Going to the mall is bad for both your wallet and your waistline.
Serious about ending this summer with money in your bank account and fewer pounds around your middle than when it began? Skip the mall entirely this summer. Instead, focus on your personal fitness goals.
Go biking, jogging, or walking. Learn a martial art. Hike a trail. Focus on burning calories and your lack of weight gain over the summer will be the envy of all your friends when you return to work.
5. Skip the summer blockbusters. Catch up on your reading.
A movie ticket is never just a movie ticket. It’s also popcorn and a hot dog and then a game or two at the game center. Plus whatever deals you see while you are out and about.
An alternative activity that could be way more satisfying? Tackling that tall stack of books you have been promising yourself you would get to at some point. That “some point” is today.
6. Ban summer sales shopping. Declutter your house.
Retailers know that people in vacation mode tend to spend more than at other times of the year. This spells trouble for individuals serious about keeping purchases to a minimum.
Tips for combating summer sale temptations? Do an intense declutter of your house or apartment. Getting rid of all the stuff that you don’t need will curb your desire for buying more stuff that you will likely end up throwing away.
See something on sale that you have been needing for a long time? Commit to first getting rid of a certain number of unused items before making that purchase. Simply creating space between when you see the item and when you buy it can help the initial urge to buy to fade.