There are a ton of fun, cheap activities. But if you want to stick to a budget, it’s important to know how to enjoy summer on the cheap. Saving in a season when there’s so much to do (and spend your money on) isn’t easy.
This summer can be a chance for you to rethink the way you look at having a good time. Instead of spending tons of money on upscale meals and trips, you can get more involved with the goings-on in your town and deepen your connection to your community and your natural surroundings. Check out these five tips for finding affordable, local fun.
1. Schedule Free Events Into Your Calendar
Summer is a popular time for local community centers and other organizations to host events in the community. Many of these events are free and open to all. There may be free concerts, historical talks, craft shows or plays going on. To take advantage of these opportunities, find a local schedule of events.
Start with a Google or Eventbrite search for events in your area. You can do a general search or narrow it down to a specific hobby, area of interest or neighborhood.
Your town’s municipal website may have a calendar that tracks what’s happening around town. Local magazines and newspapers also likely have events listings. There may be local community groups that publish calendars of events and activities, such as this one by Arts Missoula.
2. Check for Discounts
There may be events you want to attend even though they cost money. Never fear! You may still be able to save on ticket and admission prices through discounts from your existing memberships and affiliations.
For example, you may be eligible for a discount if you’re a student or part of a student alumni association. Membership in a motor club, nonprofit group or professional organization could also entitle you to a variety of discounts. And access to ADP Discounts powered by LifeMart means you can find discounts and coupons for many of the summertime activities you enjoy most.
3. Take Advantage of the Weather
With warmer weather comes the opportunity to get outside and soak up the sun — all for free. Plus, since the nice weather makes it easy to be active outside, you can get in a fun workout, too! Free or inexpensive outdoor activities you can enjoy include lake swimming, volleyball, basketball, soccer, bike rides and hikes. Just remember to stay hydrated and put on sunscreen.
4. Dine Al Fresco, on the Cheap
You don’t need to spend your savings on dinners out. Pack a picnic basket for a relaxing meal in the park or host a backyard barbecue potluck for your friends and family. Encouraging people to bring their favorite dishes can help save money while enjoying delicious, home-cooked meals.
5. Play Tourist
Itching to get away? Vacations are fun, but they put a dent in your budget. Consider planning a staycation and explore your area like a tourist instead!
Experiencing your town through the eyes of a tourist can uncover a newfound appreciation for home. Treat your staycation like a regular vacation, without the expense of airfare and hotel rooms. Check out neighborhoods you seldom visit or tour a local museum. Don’t forget to look for free admissions.
Saving money doesn’t have to mean missing out on summer fun. With these tips, you can enjoy summer without breaking the bank.