Summer seems to have endless potential for fun. However, your wallet does have its limits, especially when trying to reduce credit card debt. What’s the best way to balance it all? A summer activities budget is one way to help achieve all the financial goals of the family. Learn how to create and use this budget to make the most of the season.
How to Use a Summer Activities Budget
Hopefully, you are already familiar with budgeting using a household budget to manage your finances. A summer activities budget will be much more specific. You could consider it a subset of your larger budget. It will still keep track of how much you plan on spending and how much you do spend as you spend it.
Knowing how much money you have available for summer activities is the first step. Next, think through which activities you and the family want to do. Maybe its summer camp, amusement parks, pool memberships, or a long road trip. It’s up to you to balance individual needs and family needs. Next, research costs of each activity to see how it all fits into the budget. Finally, use a tracking system to itemize expenses as they happen and subtract them from the budget.
Do your kids want to do more or maybe you want them to support their activities? Talk them through how you will pay for certain things and how they must pay for the rest. This might include your teen working during the summer, choosing one activity over the other, or helping more at home. It can change to fit different family needs.
Cheap Summer Activities for the Family
For more fun in the sun that will fit your budget, try a few ideas from this list.
- Picnic at the park
- Community pool
- Watch a movie outside
- Star gazing
- Visit the local farmers market
- Water table
- Fly kites
- Bird watch
- Wagon rides
- Water gun fight
- Outdoor concerts & festivals
- Go yard saling
- Sports! Volleyball, bad minton, soccer, basketball, field hockey, ultimate frisbee…
- Scavenger hunt
- Start a roadside lemonade or vegetable stand
- Go on a photoshoot
- Camp in the backyard
- Wash the car (it’ll be fun for kids to help and get wet!)
- Go for ice cream frozen ice- look for coupons to save
It’s critical to use your household budget to accomplish your big financial goals and your extra summer fun. Equally important is the need to stick to the amount of money that you have in the summer activities budget. If you spend more, you may end up with unexpected and unnecessary credit card debt. Plus, you will sabotage all your hard work leading up to this point. So, make a plan and stick to it.