Summer is in full swing! You have lots of opportunities to build your community while keeping the kids entertained. A lot of summer activities are free for adults and kids, but some are inevitably going to cost money. With a few simple budgeting tricks, though, you can have a fun summer that doesn’t break the bank.

Here are a few ways to budget for your summer.

  1. Start with a plan. Put your summer budget down on paper. Plan for every contingency you can think of off the bat. The more thought and detail you put into an initial plan, the better you’ll be able to stick with your established budget. Plan for an extra tank of gas, a spontaneous dinner out with the family or a higher energy bill. The extra planning means you won’t be surprised when these events come up. Try out one of the many online budgeting tools to get started.
  2. Find the freebies.  There’s an easy way to keep your expenses low – find the free stuff. There are plenty of opportunities for your kidsat the local library, community centers and businesses. You can also find activities for yourself in your neighborhood. Be strategic about finding offers around town or plan some old-fashioned free activities like visiting the park, exercising or hiking.
  3. Stick to the budget. You have a budget written down and you have plenty of activities planned. The hard part is sticking to it. Sure, things will come up that aren’t in the plan. Sometimes you’ll want to be spontaneous. But follow your budget as much as possible. Obviously, it’s good for your finances in the short term, but sticking to your budget also helps you develop good spending habits for the future.

Make a plan and stick with it for summer fun! Explore Bridge to Wellbeing for more help with budgeting and everyday affordability.