5 Ways to Plan for a Summer of Savings
The season of road-trips, lazy weekends, and backyard barbecues is in full swing - along with plenty of ways to spend your hard earned cash. You don't have to break the bank to make the most of the season — with a little extra planning, you can even save while you're doing it. Check out these five summer planning hacks to have your fun in the sun while you're socking something away for future adventures.
#1: Skip the concession stand
Headed to a baseball game? Instead of springing for the $7 hotdogs and $5 bags of peanuts, skip the concessions line and head straight for your seats with your own picnic. Unlike movie theaters, many ball parks allow you to bring in your own food. Rules vary from park to park, so check your team's website for specifics. From amusement parks to the beach, food is always more expensive (and usually not very good) when you buy it on site. Eat better and spend less by packing your own.
#2 BYO souvenirs
Hitting the gift shop is fun, but tough on your wallet. If you're visiting a theme park (say featuring a certain mouse), buy your souvenirs online for less ahead of time. When the kids start clamoring to buy something special, surprise them with new t-shirts or hats they can put on right there. They'll be happy to get something new, and you'll be happy not to pay the premium park prices.
This strategy can save you dollars just about anywhere you're planning to go. Even when you're visiting somewhere free like the beach, picking up beach balls or glow sticks at the dollar store beforehand keeps you away from vendors who seem to pop up just about everywhere.
#3 Plan a vacation in your own town
Did you ever notice you never do all the fun stuff people come to your town to do? When was the last time you visited the tourist attractions right where you are? Planning a vacation where you live saves you travel expenses and lodging. Plus, it can be fun to revisit places you haven't been since your third grade field trip or have been meaning to check out since you moved to town. Skip the hassle and expense of booking hotels and renting cars. Plan an itinerary, put it in your calendar and enjoy your stress-free, low cost trip!
#4 Summer sales = winter savings
There are great deals to be found if you think ahead to the next season. Summer is the time when the big stores clear their wares to make space for back to school and holiday stock. It may be 90° and hard to imagine now, but chilly days are around the corner. Enjoy the free a/c and troll the clearance racks for stuff you'll need when the weather turns and those gloves, scarves and hats cost top dollar. Clothes aren't the only goods you can save on in the summer. Take advantage of summer sales on toys to stock up on holiday gifts now and smugly watch the shopping stampede from the sidelines.
#5 Start your financial plan while the livin' is easy
There's no reason to wait for a life event to get your ducks in a row. Just like saving for summer, when it comes to saving for the future, a little bit of thinking ahead can take you farther than you might expect. What better time than the lazy days of July and August to get your finances organized and on track? Make an appointment to talk with a LifePlan financial coach today and start thinking of ways you can save and plan smart year around.