Spring is in the air, and it's time to start thinking about summer vacations. Maybe you already have one planned, is it already paid for? If you are like me, then you are always looking for ways to save on much needed family fun. I must admit, my family never really does anything too crazy for summer getaways, but we are fans of Silverwood Theme Park. This usually costs us over $100 for one trip, so it is a big chunk out of our monthly budget. I have read articles that say financial stress during the summer months are just as stressful as the year-end holiday season. So I have created 5 things you can do right now to start saving for your upcoming summer plans.
Declutter & Sell
Spring time kicks off the start of Garage Sale Season! This is a perfect way to get rid of your unwanted items, and make a little cash doing it. My husband and I are frequent garage sale attendees, and I always love the thought of turning something old into something new for my home. We had our first garage sale last year, and we were pleasantly surprised. We walked away with a little over $400, enough for us to visit Silverwood Theme Park 4 times if we wanted. Also, garage sales are an awesome way to declutter your home. Not only will you make some money for summer fun, but you clean your house at the same time! Win-Win right?
Garage Sale Tip: Try organizing a neighborhood family garage sale. These tend to be the most popular, so if you want more people to attend your garage sale, this is the way to do it. Plus, you get to make friends with your neighbors!
Get To Know Your Summer Budget
You can't possibly have a financial goal if you don't know much you are going to spend. Take out your calendar and start marking all planned summer events with their expected costs. These things might include:
- Summer camp expenses
- Amusement park entry fees (& food if applicable)
- Pool memberships
- Hotel stays
- Uniform costs
- Summer sport expenses
Knowing how to much to save will give you more motivation, and keeping an organized summer budget will help minimize the stress.
Summer Budget Tip: Getting away always seems nice, but consider staying close to home, and take advantage of local events and attractions. This will help the summer budget by cutting back on fuel costs and hotel stays.
Take Advantage Of Mid-Week Prices
Try to avoid the weekend crowds if you can. Prices tend to be a bit more expensive, and it's really hard to find a good deal offered during the weekend. You will find most hotels, car rentals and amusement park costs are discounted during the normal business week. The best way to take advantage of low mid-week prices is to split the cost with friends. Who says a family vacation is only for the family?
Mid-Week Prices Tip: Do you have children? Amusement park ticket charges are usually discounted the most during the weekdays. I have seen ride tickets cut in half, and their admission prices are usually a little more affordable during morning and late afternoon.
Plan Ahead & Look For Coupons
You will be surprised on some of the coupons I have found for Silverwood Theme Park. My husband works at Napa Auto Parts, and last year they were offering free Silverwood Theme Park tickets to everyone who purchased $50 or more. This worked out great for my family and saved us over $100! Some of the best places to find discount coupons for summer plans include supermarkets, convenient stores, and your local coupon clipper that comes in the mail. If you already have your summer vacation planned, you will know in advance what coupons, and discounts to be on the lookout for.
Coupon Tip: If you are traveling away from home, and need a hotel, always check the hotel's website. They usually have an internet promo code to save you up to 25% on your hotel stay. Be sure to check out local hotels, they usually have lower rates than the bigger national chains.
Look For Freebies & Save On Food
A huge food bill can kill a budget in no time. Say your family of 4 go on a nice vacation which is planned for 4 nights and 5 days. Your family of 4 go to breakfast every morning and spend $30 each time (that is super low by the way). By the end of your vacation you have spent $150 just for breakfast. Multiple that number by 3 to cover lunch and dinner, and you have just spent $450 on just food! WOW! If you have to stay at a hotel, try to find one that offers free continental breakfast. This freebie can be a huge money saver.
Freebie Tip: Don't just limit yourself to free breakfast. Be on the look out for these types of freebies as well:
- Stay two nights & get 1 night FREE
- FREE transportation to and from the airport, restaurants, or local attractions
- Check out the local papers when you arrive at your destination. These have a ton of free local events to attend. When I traveled to Las Vegas, I found a ton of FREE stuff to do, all because I grabbed a free local paper.