More and more families are on a budget this summer as the economy continues to tank. But there’s hope. Even if you aren’t the Joneses, you can still enjoy the summer even without their bank account. Here are some ways to relax and let the kids have some fun without racking up credit card debt.
1. Skip the theme parks and get some backyard water toys. These can usually be found for very cheap at the dollar store or even your local Family Dollar. This helps everyone stay cool without spending money at water parks.
2. Go to your local pool. This may be a public pool, but find out if your area has any private pools, as well. These might cost you a little bit extra than the public pools, but then again, it’s all about your preference. Private versus public.
3. Crash someone else’s pool. Everybody’s got that one friend that has a pool. Ask if you can drop by for a quick dip, though you might have to go this one alone. The kids might have to stay home in the sprinkler with the dog on this one! Just kidding!
4. Find a nearby lake. Go swimming for free. In my area, there are a few lakes I could jump in for free. Take the kids, bring lunch and make a day of it.
5. Go to the beach. Many beaches don’t charge an entry fee to swim and play. Check the local beaches around you. Swimming (and tanning for those of you who do it) for free…you couldn’t possibly lose.
6. Grill food and have a cookout. Slap a couple of steaks (or chicken, whatever your preference) on the grill and have the family over or maybe just a few friends. You can never beat a good old fashioned cook out.
7. Lay in a hammock and read one of your favorite books. Or a new one. Whatever you want. It’s summer, after all. The time is now to lounge around and enjoy the beauty of the season.
8. Play outdoor games that don’t require much. If you’ve already got some sports equipment, you could play basketball, tag football, Frisbee, or just plain old freeze tag.
9. Find the dollar movie theater in town. My local theater is only $2 per ticket. Yes, the movies are pretty darn old, but hey, it’s $2. You get what you pay for. Find a movie you might have missed, but have been wanting to see and check out the cheap theater.
10. Have a water balloon fight. Balloons are only $1 at the dollar store. Pick up a few packs, fill them up with tap water and go crazy! Water balloon fights have been known to be pretty epic in my family. Maybe you can start your own tradition. The First Annual [Enter Family’s Last Name] Family Water Balloon Extravaganza!
There are tons of things you and your family can do to make this summer fun. But when funds are low, it’s time to get creative. With these helpful suggestions, you can be on your way to your family’s best summer yet. Remember, you don’t always have to spend money to have a good time.