We all want to make sure that we control our household debt by budgeting our money responsibly during these lean economic times. No worries, you can still have fun while keeping your family budget intact with these ideas!
Putting your vacation on your credit card can meaning paying off a debt in four years’ time, just for a four-day getaway. Does this mean you have to give up your vacation altogether during this tight economy? In a recent consumer survey, Capital One discovered that 50 percent of Americans are canceling or postponing their vacations. Instead, why not consider affordable ways to have summer fun activities on a budget?
Let’s face it, the kids are only entertained by the sprinkler for a little while. Everyone wants to break away from the house and from their regular routine for a taste of something exciting. But guess what. You can have fun for less! Following are some ways to entertain a demanding crowd on a dime.
8 Recreational Activities That Won’t Stretch Your Budget
Check out your local library. Your local library has a wealth of resources and programs in your community. We’ve attended jazz concerts, plays, magic shows, scientific expos and an array of arts and crafts programs at our community library. Usually the events are free if you simply register and present your library card.
Attend live outdoor events. Community centers, town and village parks and local restaurants frequently host live outdoor concerts and events. Peruse your area newspapers and call your town offices to find out what’s happening for free. We attend a live concert at the Town Hall every summer featuring leading local bands. All we need to do is bring lawn chairs and a canned good for charity. You can’t beat that price for celebrity entertainment!
Plan a picnic. A picnic is a low-cost way to get a day out. Pack a basket with iced tea, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies and a blanket. Visit a lovely lake or flowery field where you can relax, nosh and unwind under the summer sun.
Go camping. If you have a tent and transportation, you’re ready for a camping trip. Find out campgrounds that accept tent campers and make a registration. Disabled veterans and their families get to camp out for free at state campgrounds while everyone else pays a low fee of around $10 to $20 per evening to gain access to a scenic site. You can’t beat that price for vacation accommodations!
Invest in a popup camper or RV. If you’re used to renting a house or going to a posh resort on vacation, you may find that you can actually save money by making a purchase. By investing in a popup camper or RV, you can cut down on rental and lodging costs that can add up over time. A popup camper also requires a tow hitch attached to a vehicle capable of transporting the trailer. Your initial investment will pay for itself time and again when you plan family camping trips. Check out KOA campgrounds for luxurious, family-friendly campgrounds. Many locations have features such as swimming pools, scheduled activities and an array of amenities. For around $35 a night, you’ll be living large on a budget. Think of your mini investment as a vacation home on wheels!
Visit museums. Local museums, arboretums and estates offer free and low-cost tours. I love spending the day in a historical, educational environment that offers something for everyone in my traveling group. We visit museums for free in our area including colonial estates and old railroads.
Schedule a “day-cation”. Have fun for a day! A “day-cation” is better than no getaway at all. If you can’t afford to go away for several days, why not plan an unforgettable local day out? Go to an amusement park, visit an ocean beach, take a day cruise on a boat, go skydiving or take a bus tour of an area attraction. Even a day away can refresh you and create lifelong memories.
Create a “stay-cation” right at home. When you need to be really frugal, you can create a “stay-cation” right at home. I’d suggest planning a day of total decadence. A pop-up pool is a great way to get cool for under $100. Simply blow up the top ring, fill up with water and invite your family to jump in and splash around. It’s one of my favorite summer toys at home, as it keeps my kids preoccupied for hours. Or how about watching your favorite DVD movies with popcorn and soda? Pamper yourself a little and skip the kitchen for a day: order takeout so you don’t have to cook. Then cap the day by taking a warm bubble bath with candlelight and your favorite drink. Sounds great? Well, with a little creativity, you can easily turn your surroundings into an oasis and get that much-needed break without breaking your budget.